Monthly Archives: February 2015

So yesterday my Big Brother, Alwyn, came to visit.

He helped me in every way, despite having to spend a lot of time on his phone and PC.

Obviously it culminated in a big night out… Far too much to drink, random conversations with strangers, lots of nostalgia, a lot of tears, me puking ( not over myself, or in public ) and a fairly fuzzy head today.

He’s on the phone as I type, doing his job, dealing with his own hangover very professionally.

We had the sort of night only the closest of close people could have.

Thank you, Alwyn.

An invite.

Dear All,

I write to you from Louisville , Kentucky , USA where I’m all by myself in a not very glamorous downtown hotel, and it’s pretty late.

I’m here, having volunteered my body ( such as it is ) to medical research, having crashed my bike 19 months ago on what was supposed to have been a fun weekend cycling in the South of France.

I ‘awoke’ weeks later with the gradual realisation that I was paralysed from the rib cage down, and given no hope of recovery.

Too heavily medicated to be shocked, and too emaciated and broken to even try to get out of bed, I had no option, other than a sort of resignation.

Life since then hasn’t been too good, being paraplegic isn’t fun, but nonetheless life has gone on.
We set up a charity to help people with Spinal Cord Injuries to get something positive back through the medium of sport.

We’ve had a few events already, and the next one is a ‘white collar boxing night’ – 9 pairs of total amateurs learn to box, then go 3 rounds in front of their colleagues, friends and families, in a proper ring, with a real referee, 3 proper judges, and a lot of cameras.

On March 14th at 8pm in The Park Club, in Acton, West London, you’re invited to come and support 20 brave total ameteurs.

It would be pretty cool if you all came to support them , and my charity.

Tickets you get from

The venue is really brilliant , a big tennis dome in lovely grounds, free parking included, lots of really hi tech AV and lights.
A few celebs will be kicking around, and none other than Johnny Nelson, former world champion and Sky Sports Ringside presenter, is the chief judge.

There will be an amazing atmosphere all night, inspired by the determination of the boxers ( all really nice, regular guys, like you lot ) and the absolute support of their friends.

Please do your best to come.

I’m back from the States for a week, to come to the event and to see my wife and be home for my daughter’s 11th birthday.

You don’t need to book a table or anything complicated, you’ll be able to wander about and find eachother on the night, and please feel free to invite your husbands/ wives/ girlfriends/ secretaries/ mates/ employees ( delete as appropriate) It won’t be really bloody, there won’t be any knock outs ( or it’s unlikely ) but you’ll see 100% commitment.

So please come, have a great time, and show some support.

Thanks so much,

Russ Dawkins.

It’s 4 am and I’m thinking, as in my mind is at work, thoughts flying about in different directions.

My girls leave tomorrow, at midday.
That won’t be a good moment for me.

I’m thinking about my life before – lived at full speed – being a dad, husband, a boss at work, having a full on life outside work, all the sports I did ( every day ), a social life that was way too overcommitted, all leading to far too little sleep. But with hindsight how easy life was, compared to now, how it is now with relatively so few things in it, yet so much more of a battle, with far less fulfilment.

Today will be day 3 of electricity stimulation to bits of me that don’t work.

They’re doing my back and the right side of my stomach.
As I have partial sensation there, indeed hypersensitivity of sorts, it does hurt.
80 odd minutes of being zapped every 10 seconds, for 3 seconds

I can’t say it’s fun, but in the longer term there could / should be a benefit.

Today I think they may switch to my legs/ glutes ( bum ), instead, so I won’t feel a thing.

It’s -17 outside, and the pavements are not cleared, so Dani will drive me there, and collect me later.

It’s far better having them here, and being a family for a while.

When they go it’ll no doubt lead to a dip in my mood ( so easily dented ) so I try not to think about it.

They had a great day yesterday visiting a massive cavern in Louisville, zip wiring etc.
I love seeing them having fun, and have to suppress my own sadness that I can join in.

I did get to take the guided tour through MegaCavern though, an amazing place with an incredible history.
It was cold for me, my chair strapped in to the open topped wagon, but fascinating nonetheless.

Def a must visit if you come this way.

Feb 18th.

There is a lot of snow here – the roads are gradually clearing, but the pavements not at all.

I imagine they’re not a priority as no one walks anywhere in Kentucky.

So in a wheelchair, that would make me stranded, if Dani weren’t here, with a car, as snow is definitely not an option in a chair.

It’s also very windy and very cold now.
Schools are shut still, I hear.

I’m at the hospital now ( lift from Dani ), for the first time since Friday, and hoping Jamie and Mitch will make it in, to electrocute me.

The kids are still very much In bed ( tablets and earphones… Usual story ).

Feb 16th.

And now there’s 6 inches of snow, the ‘therapy’ is suspended….

I can get to the hospital, but the research guys can’t.

Upside, my girls have gone sledding with their new best mates.
Ah, wish I was able to do that stuff still.