How it all Started

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It all started one bright sunny morning on the way to work when Sue called to say “have you ever thought about doing something completely different”? By the time she returned home that evening I had it all planned.

We had seen the Leonard Cheshire ‘Enabled’ adverts at our local bus stop and a visit to their web site revealed all. The more I read, the more I could identify with my situation 10 years previously, disabled yet very able, but no one willing to give me a chance. A brief meeting with Leonard Cheshire late in December and an off the cuff remark by Sue was beginning to have serious repercussions.

Where do we start. The route, the vehicle, the bureaucracy, finances – A book! Christmas was coming and a request went to Santa for ‘The Vehicle Dependant Expedition Guide’, I couldn’t wait so I bought it early. A few nights reading sorted out the vehicle in my mind, it all seemed quite straightforward, we set ourselves a target of 3 months.

Here was a women who was a best friend and shared the same sense of adventure, so on New Year’s Eve at the strike of midnight, stood opposite Big Ben – I proposed. It was 15 minutes before I could hear an answer after all the fireworks and celebrations subsided – a resounding ‘YES’.

So here we are not content with giving up our jobs, planning an expedition, raising sponsorship in 3 months – now we want to get married as well.

Our first letters for sponsorship went out in mid January and we were overwhelmed by the support and comments received. The project progressed steadily throughout January, February and March. We took a short break at the beginning of April to organise a wedding and were married at St. James’s Piccadilly on 8th April. (Organising the wedding is another story).

A change of surname has caused no end of complications with new passports, not being able to apply for visas until the 8th April, new driving licence, bank accounts etc, etc.

Today 28th April time has run out. We are due to collect the Land Rover this afternoon and will spend next week tying up loose ends.

Neil Lawson – expedition team

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