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Patient takes on 420-mile kayak challenge to thank hospital
Cronically ill Justin Hansen paddled through the Kennet and Avon Canal on a 420-mile kayaking challenge to raise money for charity.
Mr Hansen, 53, a former IT consultant who lives in Brighton, suffers from Crohn’s disease which causes symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss and fatigue.
His case was so severe that it led to intestinal failure which meant he had to have his colon and sections of his bowel removed.
He received specialist treatment at St Mark’s Hospital, the world’s first specialist bowel disease hospital, and is now raising money for the foundation.
The journey, dubbed Gutless Kayaking, began on September 7 from Skipton in North Yorkshire and Mr Hansen and his support team arrived in Bedwyn Wharf last Thursday, en-route for Bristol.
Because of his condition Mr Hansen survives on liquid nutrition fed via a tube inserted into his chest from a specially created eight kilo backpack, which he has worn throughout his kayaking journey.
He said: “This trip is my way of saying thank you to everyone who has helped me get well and somehow kept my health on track over these last few years, and to raise some funds for the amazing research carried out at St Mark’s Hospital.
“The intestinal failure research being carried out is essential for the many people who suffer from intestinal conditions including bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and Colitis.
“As a result of this research there will be medical advances for patients with many of these conditions in the future and new solutions provided by the growth of human tissue and transplants will be possible.
“I am very grateful for everyone involved with the Gutless Kayaking adventure and thankful to all of those who have been able to sponsor or donate to this very worthy cause.”
Mr Hansen aims to raise £50,000. To sponsor him visit www.gutlesskayaking.com
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