THE ARCTIC RIDER STORY

"Gordon Stuart (AKA The Arctic Rider) is on a mission to ride his motorbike across the Arctic Circle in every country possible, while raising money and awareness for causes close to his heart."

“It started in 2011 as a charity ride to the Arctic Circle that didn’t really go to plan, and has become a near obsession with the Arctic, an obsession with riding a motorbike, and an obsession helping organisations who help others” - Traverse Magazine, November 2017.

To date, Gordon has raised over £13,000 for charities, ridden over 14,000 miles as part of the challenges.

Gordon is an Ambassador UK-brain injury charity Cerebra and global youth leader forum One Young World, and fundraiser for special care babies charity Tiny Lives. He is keen motorcyclist, writer, and film maker.

My inspiration for Arctic Ride

Hi All,

This week it was my wee bro Robbie's 16th birthday. So I thought I'd use this week's blog to talk about Robbie and the charity Cerebra as when its comes down to it that's what my whole adventure to the Arctic is about.

Robbie was born just like any other little lad, but unfortunately at the age of 9 months old he was a near miss clot death and spent several months in hospital after lack of oxygen to his brain caused severe brain damage. Robbie has come along way since 1997 when doctors told my mum that he would never see, never talk and would never live a meaningful life again. Yet here we are, 15 years later and Robbie is now a massive chatterbox, has a keen eye for almost every football club badge in the premier league and is the life of every party and family occasion. I guess you can look at it two ways, either my little brother is very unlucky for what happened to him where he was young, or he is very lucky in that he defied doctors predictions and is growing up to be a very happy and cheerful young man. I certainly view it as the latter and it's this that gives me strength when I am down and gave me the motivation to step out of my comfort zone and set myself the challenge of riding my motorbike 6,000 miles in 3 weeks to one of the most extreme environments on the earth, the Arctic.

Whilst in my view Robbie was very lucky, he still leads a life that is more challenging than most of the population and has day to day challenges that most people can't even imagine. Robbie stands at near 6ft tall and like his dad is build like a rugby player but he has a cognitive age of between 5 and 6 years old caused by his brain injury which provides great challenges in his life meaning he needs constant support from his family and within his education network. Also, Robbie has behavioural problems and suffers from seizures and a lowered immune system. When I think about it like this, its always brings me back down to earth when I get bogged down about the things that don't really matter and I then think in some ways Robbie's view on the world is indeed more palatable. Robbie's pleasures in life come from spending time with his family, walking his border collies and, of course, watching Newcastle United (well I guess some of our pleasures are the same).

When you read back over my last two paragraphs, these challenges and issues are the whole reason why charities like Cerebra exist, to help people like Robbie, who need assistance is making their tough life easier. Moreover, this is the motivation for riding my bike to the top of the world to help children like Robbie. Cerebra aim to help children 16 or under who have a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and conditions. This ranges from children with Cerebral palsy to brain injuries to seizure disorders and much more. This comes in the form of grants for specialist equipment, speech and language therapy and more. They also provide help and support to families of those children by providing a helpline for dealing with stress, assistance with correctly filling out forms and general advice for families to help support their child. For more information please visit www.cerebra.org.uk

I hope this puts into perspective why taking on this challenge and that your support by following my progress, reading blogs and donating a small bit of your hard earned cash can make someones life less fortunate that bit easier.

Thanks for reading and look out for my next blog during the week where I'll be talking more about my progress on twitter and more details on what some of my sponsors will be providing to me.

Follow my progress daily on twitter @arcticride2014 and if you have any questions you would like to ask me send them to gordon_stuart1@hotmail.com

Ride safe and happy Easter.

Gordon

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