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Lee Birmingham  - Wakefield member

Lee Birmingham - Wakefield member

Lee Birmingham, who has been a member of our Wakefield club since 2013, is using his own health challenge to raise money and awareness for a fantastic charity the British Acoustic Neuroma Association (BANA).

Lee is swimming the 21 miles of the English Channel in the pool at the club to both raise money and increase his own fitness ahead of an important operation. 

Lee said: “In January this year, I was diagnosed with a rare benign brain tumour (an Acoustic Neuroma). This news rocked me and my family to the core and I am now waiting for the surgery which will be in May.

“The brain tumour has caused me to have significant and profound hearing loss in my right ear and I am also experiencing other symptoms including tinnitus, facial numbness, balance issues, dizziness, panic attacks, anxiety, lack of concentration as well as fatigue.

“However, to help my own mental health and strength and also to help get me ‘operation ready’ I want to put some positive energy into raising money for BANA which as a non-funded charity provide invaluable advice and fabulous resources to help AN sufferers and their families.

“I have set myself the challenge of swimming the 21 miles that is the English Channel crossing, but, as I live in Wakefield, I am doing this at Bannatyne’s (minus the Goose Fat of course)

“Due to challenges with fatigue, I will break this down into manageable chunks and undertake the swim over a number of days.

“I wouldn’t be able to get through this without BANA and the support of my wife, children and granddaughter, family and friends.”

Lee believes that attending the health club has given him a real focus and the challenge is ensuring that he remains as positive as possible and the regular sessions at the club will help ensure his body is physically fit to cope with the ten-hour operation he faces.