Ian’s story: Why I decided to rejoin Run/Walk For Life

In August of 2018 I was diagnosed with pancreatitis out of the blue. I would never wish that pain on my worst enemy – it was excruciating. I was rushed to Sandton Clinic, and thus started a six-week roller coaster ride of a lot of grey moments for my family and myself.

In the first four weeks I could hardly eat, and lost 15 kilograms. While it was nice to lose the weight, that definitely was not the most pleasant way to do it. I was transferred to Intensive Care, where they put me on very heavy antibiotics and a feeding tube. There were a few days when both the doctors and my family thought I would not pull through.

One night, around 01:00 in the morning, I had to get up to drag myself to the loo with all the drips. (Intensive Care is very bright, 24/7 – one almost needs to apply sunblock so you don’t get burnt). When I came out, I decided to take a tour of the ward to see my fellow patients.

When I got back to my own bed, I had to do quite a bit of introspection. There were always people worse off than what I was going through. So, I said to myself, “Self, stop feeling so sorry for yourself, you are over the worst.”

When I was finally released from the hospital, I was so weak I could only walk a few steps before I was out of breath. It was at this moment that I decided to rejoin Run/Walk for Life. I had to get strong again, for my own sake and for the sake of my wife, kids and grandkids. The first night I arrived at Norscot Manor, it took me about four or five stops before I got to meet my new “boss”, Beth.

Beth, with your continuous assistance and the encouragement of all my newfound friends, I can truly say that I have been able to get myself in reasonable shape again and will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Thanks to my new family for being there for me, and for showing that anything can be done if you put your mind to it. We make a wonderful TEAM.