23 members were on Zoom. Apologies for absence were tendered from Grace, Sandy and Stephanie. Visits to other clubs (via Zoom):- Mark reported visited the Rotary Club of Sarasota Southside, and along with Neil had visited the Rotary Club of Downtown Honolulu. They discovered that Hawaii may be 7000 miles away but they have the same issues such as a Pantry Club.
Guest speaker, Phil Godfrey was hoping to walk from the Scilly Isles to the Shetland Isles to raise funds and awareness for APS before a knee injury halted him at Preston on his way north. His journey then changed to a Round Britain Rail Tour.
Phil, a member of the Rotary Club of Solihull, sadly lost his wife Christine to APS in 2015 after being misdiagnosed with MS.
Phil is now an ambassador for APS Support UK. APS (Antiphospholipid syndrome) a blood condition discovered in 1970s in the West Indies. The life threatening auto immune condition, formerly called Hughes Syndrome causes blood to clot too quick and affects every organ in the body. It has the potential to cause heart attacks,strokes, pulmonary emboli and DVTs. In pregnancy, APS is the most common treatable form of recurrent miscarriage, it can also cause infertility and stillbirths but can also affect men.
Phil decided to walk the 1400 miles from Scilly Isles to Shetland Isles to raise funds and awareness of APS. He said Lands End to John O’ Groats wasn’t good enough for him!
Having set off in March 2017 via Offa’s Dyke up 450 miles to Preston he had to return home twice with pains in his knee. Phil needed an operation and was told to walk no further. His spirit was willing but his body wasn't.
Refusing to be thwarted, in 2018 Phil started a rail tour and finished just before lockdown. He travelled from Scillies to the Shetland’s, Fishguard to Yarmouth, Canterbury to Isle of Skye using his knowledge of railways to travel around. He was particularly intrigued by the curves and ramp at Wemyss Bay, curved rather in a straight line because people walk faster.
Phil has raised £155,000 and the West Fife club was the 228th he had visited, 86 since the lockdown. He has travelled on over 700 trains, 90% on time, 8 ferries and three planes, 42000 miles on an all stations pass that he earned from his service working in the railways as a Project Manager on new stations.
On his travels he discovered a large number of people with APS, even on the Orkney Island of Westray where met a sufferer who attended Professor Hughes.
Past President Ewan gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the club. He said that he had thoroughly enjoyed Phil’s talk saying he was a true an APS ambassador and how commendable his efforts had been. What you are doing to elearning modules for GPS. Thank you for what you are doing.
Everyone hearing this story will hopefully contribute, sincere thanks on behalf of the club.
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Primary Schools linked to Rotary Club of West Fife:- Blairhall, Cairneyhill, Carnock, Crossford, Camdean, Culross, Inzievar, Holy Name, Limekilns, Milesmark, St Serfs, Saline, Torryburn, Tulliallan. Secondary Schools:- Queen Anne and Woodmillmore