Why I am wing walking for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation

Why I am wing walking for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation

It started with my dad.

He was adventurous. He loved running, cycling and would travel across the globe. He never gave up and would make the most out of life despite his health condition. This mainly came in the form of his progressive multiple sclerosis. Over the years this forced him to use a walking stick, and then later a mobility scooter. Despite this, his daring side never stopped and he completed a tandem skydive for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in June 2009. It was remarkable how he flew up to 13,000 feet in order to take one giant leap into the sky.

It was only a couple of years later in May 2011, his health deteriorated even further to the extent he was transferred into a nursing home. He lost his ability to walk; was double incontinent; and it impacted his mental health too including through numerous anxiety, depressive and paranoid episodes. Nevertheless, he was my dad and we liked playing games together. His cheeky side never faded and we would have a good time despite his hardship.

I was so inspired by him, I completed my own tandem skydive for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation nine years later, on the same date in June, at the same place at Hinton Skydiving Centre in Brackley on Thursday 28th June 2018. I was so happy he was able to come along on the day to watch me.

Then in April 2020, he died. He passed away in his nursing home due to complications with his multiple sclerosis. This left a huge hole in my heart. Grief is exhausting. It is upsetting. It causes anger. It was made worse because as a family we were not able to see other loved ones or go many places due to the coronavirus pandemic. These were some of my darkest days. I got through them thanks to the support from family, friends and two amazing charities, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation, who were there for me again in times of great difficulty.

I have always wanted to take to the skies again, and this wing walk is my way of saying thank you to them. A wing walk involves standing on a wing of a bi-plane as it flies and summersaults through the air. I like to believe on Sunday 4th September 2022 as I fly into the blue Dorset sky, Dad will be watching me.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising pages, you can do so through the following links:

For Jake Borrett’s Team Page, please follow this link:
https://www.justgiving.com/team/jakeborrettwingwalk

To donate to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, please follow this link:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jake-Borrett3

To donate to Dyspraxia Foundation, please follow this link:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jake-Borrett4

Thank you for your kindness and for being there for me. It means a huge amount to me and the charities.

It started with my dad...Copyright © 2019 Jake Borrett. All rights reserved.   


Tried

Tried

I sit at a wooden desk in the darkness surrounding me

Shadowy faces circle my empty piece of paper and discarded pencil

Dust from the ceiling falls into my eyes,

And although I should be blinded, I can see more clearly now.

Dad sitting in the garden helping me with my spelling by playing games of Countdown,

Mum encouraging me with confidence to get through tough, painful, tearful days,

Pressure inside my blood, building, up, up, up.

But whatever grade I may get,

I realise, I have tried.

I realise, I have tried...Copyright © 2014 PublicDomainPictures. All rights reserved.



Pancakes

Pancakes

The buttered smell of pancakes rises up my nose, and hums inside my ears.
 
Mum gently stirs the sugar inside the saucepan, crisping and browning.

My sister tosses and turns the fluffy treat into the thick air,

While Dad’s shaking fingers crack open the last box of eggs.

I notice a smile on his likened lips I have only seen once before.

It is warm, yet sad, as if he knows this pancake day is the last one he will share with us.

The buttered smell of pancakes rises up my nose...Copyright © 2017 piviso. All rights reserved. 


Friendship Is A Chocolate Bar

Friendship Is A Chocolate Bar

Friendship is a chocolate bar.

It is there for you at the end of a difficult day when you need a shot of hope.

It warms you up, and surrounds you with its wrapper, holding onto your hand.

It is filled with surprises and secrets which get stuck in between your teeth.

Sometimes though, it melts and crumbles away,

Leaving behind an empty hole in your stomach, inside your heart,

And smudges your fingers to remind you of better times.

But whether it is as colourful as a packet of rainbowed Smarties;

Fiery as the red scored along a Kit Kat bar;

Or as smooth as a silky Galaxy,

One thing remains the same.

We all want one.

We all need one.

Friendship is a chocolate bar.

Friendship is a chocolate bar...Copyright © 2013 AlexanderStein. All rights reserved. 


The Sunshine Behind The Clouds

The Sunshine Behind The Clouds


2021 was another challenging year. I cried many times while driving, in toilets and whilst sitting in a university student bar. I had Crohn’s disease stomach pains and flareups; trapped wind issues; CT scans and ultrasounds to investigate bone cysts; and went through week-long dizzy bugs. It was an emotional time as both a supportive, loving family friend, and a super, gentle grandma passed away in the year. They will forever be in our hearts. I have said it before, grief is never easy, and I still think about my dad every day since he passed away in April 2020.

Going into 2021 I knew it was going to be another tough year. This is why at the start of 2021 I did not set myself any resolutions. Well, aside from one. I hoped 2021 was going to be a better, kinder, happier year than the one which came before it. I hoped it would contain some joyful, normal times together with others. To some extent this happened because June 2021 was the first time in over sixteen months, I visited my cousins. I was able to travel around the country more including going to parks, outdoor museums, rose gardens and restaurants. I also shared some fun times with friends by playing poker and pool with them. I additionally recited my poetry on Radio Verulam; and performed at a creative writing open mic night at University of Hertfordshire.

I started to capture the normal things which had been lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of grief. I understood that it is okay not to be okay; it is important to look ourselves and others; and friends, family, loved ones and all of you are so important to me. So, thank you.

Resolutions for 2022

As I write this article in the very early stages of January 2022, I am trying to remain hopeful. I am hoping some of the dark clouds that have appeared over the last couple of years slowly drift away, and the sunshine bursts behind them. With this in mind, I would like to set myself a few resolutions for 2022. These include:
› To complete a challenge for charity. This may involve taking to the skies once again but in a different way compared to my tandem skydive for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation in 2018.
› To explore more of the world. I had an amazing time travelling to lots of countries in 2019.
› To continue writing and raising awareness of hidden disabilities and mental health conditions. This includes living with Crohn’s disease, dyspraxia, anxiety and depression. This could be on the radio or through writing.
› To spend more time with friends, family and loved ones.
› To remember those we have lost along the way.
› Ultimately, to be happier and to feel healthier.

The last few years have taught me life is so unpredictable. With this in mind, if I manage to achieve the above goals for 2022 then great, but if I do not achieve all of them, that is okay too. Remember to look after yourself, and thank you. Let us hope sunshine comes out from behind the clouds very soon.

Let us hope sunshine comes out from behind the clouds very soon...Copyright © 2021- Jake Borrett. All rights reserved.