Arthur has been living with Raynaud's since childhood, however, he only received his diagnosis last year. This year he decided to take on Mount Kilimanjaro to fundraise and help raise awareness for SRUK, here he talks about his journey:
“I first noticed it in primary school, with my friends, we were amazed by the different colours my hands had in the cold. At the time it wasn't that painful. However, during the past years the pain increased and looking on the internet I discovered it was called Raynaud's Syndrome. Then, my girlfriend convinced me to see a specialist so that I can get diagnosed and I can learn about how to fight it."
When talking about how living with his condition has changed in the last few years he said: “Over the past 3 or 4 years, whenever it's cold my hands are getting more and more painful, the colour they take gets worse and worse as well. Even small things such as walking in the 'cold part' of a supermarket or taking a walk during winter are becoming annoying and painful. And once I get back to a warm area (the subway, a shop, home etc.) my hands become red and I have a feeling that they are burning inside which is even more painful than the cold. As it's currently winter, most of the time I go out I get an attack, not big ones but enough to feel the pain. Working in the office is also painful, whether it's winter or summer as the air conditioner is sometimes enough to trigger attacks.
“To be honest, I get used to it, I still feel the pain but if I spend less than an hour walking outside it's fine, the pain is bearable, there are people with worse cases and I really do not know how they can bear the pain. I was told to wear gloves and to avoid going out but I love spending my free time walking, so it's hard for me. I tend to go outside less often than I would have done before of course, which is sad.
“I decided to undertake this challenge because I don't like the idea of being limited by my condition and I like challenges. I know it's probably going to be difficult and very painful, but I want to prove to myself, as idiotic as it can seem, that I can do it and that I should not be stopped by Raynaud's syndrome.
“It is also the opportunity for me to make people aware of the syndrome, so that they can learn more about it and to raise funds for SRUK. As of today, there exists no cure for Raynaud's syndrome, these funds will help the research into Raynaud's and help the lives of people who are more affected than I am.
"My goal is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m) over eight days. At the top, the temperature can drop to -25°C, which is going to be a real challenge for me."
Arthur succeeded in his personal challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, when we spoke afterwards he felt an amazing sense of achievement and added: “So the climb was not too difficult. The most difficult part was the cold at the summit. I took off my big gloves just before this picture was taken because I wanted to see how cold it was. I then experienced the most painful 20 minutes of my life. I could not move my fingers at all and it was a really difficult moment. Once back down to warmer temperature it felt better!"
If you feel inspired by Arthur's daring challenge you can show your support by donating to his just giving page here or if you feel inspired to take on your own challenge you can see our A-Z of ideas or just get in touch on 02038935993 to discuss the different options.