Smashing through the pain barrier to raise funds for epilepsy

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A Staveley family pushed themselves to the limits as they took on the Pain Barrier challenge to help youngsters who have epilepsy.

Simon Knowles, from Miller Avenue, along with eight others raised nearly £1,500 after competing in the tough obstacle course in Yorkshire.

His daughter, Caitlin, is just seven years old and last year was diagnosed with epilepsy.

He said: “We have to constantly watch her in case she has one of her vacant episodes.

“She can just zone out and it can be anywhere from a couple of seconds to nearly half a minute and if she if walking or crossing a road it can be very dangerous.”

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures.

It is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people in the UK. This means that almost one in every 100 people has the condition.

Simon, 43, said: “At first we didn’t know what was wrong with her and thought she was just ignoring us but after she got worse we took her to the doctors and we were taken seriously then she got the rights tests and scans.

“It is heartbreaking to watch my little girl struggling and it is not an easy thing to live with.”

Team Caitlin took part in Pain Barrier to raise money for Young Epilepsy, a charity which helps sufferers maintain an education with dedicated learning support for those who can not attend mainstream school.

Caitlin has missed out on being part of the programme due to her late diagnoses but her family still believe in the work they do.

Simon said: “There isn’t much help out there for parents bar online forums so anything that can make it a little bit easier for parents and children is a great idea.”
The race happened on Saturday, October and Simon said it was the toughest thing he had ever done.

“I finished and that was the main thing, I ache all over but I know that we re raising money for something so worthwhile.”
His employers, Acardo, have agreed to match fund anything that he raises up to value of £500 and Simon is thrilled with the support.

The online fundraising page for Team Caitlin is still active at www.justgiving.com/teams/Teamcaitlin