A 44-year-old Melton man is using gruelling exercise challenges to help him cope with an unusual medical condition which temporarily left him unable to smell or taste.
Adam Hawkins, a postman in the town, was finally diagnosed in 2018 with AERD (Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease) - also known as Samter’s Triad - a chronic respiratory and sinus-based illness which has led to severe asthma attacks as well as his loss of senses, after having symptoms from January 2017.
While trying to research his condition he realised there was very little publicity about it so he decided to take on a number of extreme fitness events to raise awareness of his AERD and he has found it is helping him to deal with the symptoms, mentally as well as physically.
Despite never having run competitively before, Adam ran the Rutland Marathon in September in an impressive time of three hours and 31 minutes, raising £700 for the charity Fifth Sense, which supports smell and taste disorder sufferers.
He plans to take on an ultra marathon in Northumberland later this month, the Limassol Marathon in Cyprus in March and a half-ironman event in the summer.
Adam, who is the father of three girls aged six, eight and 16, told the Melton Times he started running in December 2018 by chance but and it gave him mental clarity as well as brief moments of smell and taste.
He said: “The lack of public knowledge, information and media coverage of my condition was overwhelming so last year I wrote about my condition for the Fifth Sense charity and also decided to raise awareness.
“I wanted to inspire other people suffering with my condition to try to take control of their own health as much as they can, especially their mental health.
“So I’m undertaking numerous endurance challenges over the next three years to raise awareness of my disease and all olfactory loss disorders.”
He added: “Even though it’s been a tough few years I’m grateful for the focus it’s given in my life.”
Go online at www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AdamHawkins3 to donate money to Adam’s fundraising.