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My challenge to help ex-soldiers
A FORMER soldier will run back-to-back marathons to raise money for other veterans who are battling post-traumatic stress disorder.
Anthony Taylor, of Worcester, a former corporal in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, will run the marathons on a treadmill in High Town, Hereford, today, starting at 9am.
He hopes his epic charity challenge will raise at least £1,000 for the charity PTSD Resolution.
The charity provides support for former soldiers who are suffering flashbacks, nightmares, anger and depression, which can often lead to violence, alcohol and substance abuse, job loss, family breakdown and even suicide.
Mr Taylor, aged 41, said of the challenge: “You get ups and downs. You can experience the runner’s high for a minute or so and then you can plummet into this painful abyss.
“It’s very hard but I use distractions to keep going.
“It is a small charity and it needs more funding.” Mr Taylor aims to complete the challenge outside, near WH Smith, but he has a marquee to protect him from the elements. He said he would like as many people as possible to pop in and support him on the day and there will also be therapists on hand to discuss the support provided by the charity. He aims to complete the challenge in nine hours.
Mr Taylor said: “PTSD occurs when someone has been exposed to an event where their lives were threatened or there was risk of serious injury and where they experienced intense fear, helplessness or horror.
“This traumatic memory becomes deeply embedded in the brain so that when something simple happens – such as a car backfiring – the memory is triggered and the person experiences the traumatic event as though it were happening again.”
Some of what PTSD Resolution does is called “human givens therapy” which uses a technique called the “rewind technique”.
This enables the traumatic memory to be turned into an ordinary memory by unhooking the emotions from the event.
He said: “This helps us to make sense of our experiences, learn from them and move on. The great thing is that you don’t have to talk about what actually happened.”
Mr Taylor is also seeking to raise cash for the same charity by organising a weight loss programme for women who have “tried everything and failed” at Pitchcroft in Worcester.
He needs at least 10 people to take part in the 28-day “super loss camp” and some of the money he makes will be set aside for PTSD Resolution.
For more information about either event, or to sponsor Mr Taylor, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07772 972802.