Charity bike ride ends in Grantham
A charity bike ride to help tackle the county's chronic pain problem will end in Grantham town centre.
Fen Kipley, of Lincoln, hopes to clock up 250 miles on the Flippin Pain community outreach tour across Lincolnshire.
The six-day bike ride is part of a public health campaign which will start in Stamford on Sunday, September 12 and end at the Eden House Hotel in Grantham on Friday, September 17.
This is something that Fen once thought was impossible after a car accident 17 years ago forced her into an ongoing battle with persistent pain.
Fen lives with fibromyalgia, seronegative inflammatory arthritis and hypermobility syndrome, and is cycling to help others like her with chronic pain.
She said: "Life with persistent pain used to be one of anger and depression; it seemed so unfair and annoyingly, there wasn’t a great big gaping wound for everyone to see how much I was hurting."
Fen continued: "Even though I was surrounded by loved ones I still felt alone and helpless, I began to isolate myself because everything was such a massive effort. It was just me and my pain, no one else understood, so it was a lonely experience.
"The pain had stolen my identity, my purpose, my enthusiasm, my job and my joy."
The Flippin Pain tour will feature a series of educational events and a interactive pop-up experience village, the 'brain bus', in addition to the charity cycle ride.
As well as Fen, nationally-renowned pain experts and health professions will take part in the tour, meeting residents across the county to flip the public understanding of chronic pain.
Fen added: “I can’t pinpoint accurately when I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim of my pain, but I’d decided what I didn’t want to do, I didn’t want to feel like an opioid zombie; permanently in a brain fog and having difficulty articulating even the simplest of sentences.
"I didn’t want to try another course of anti-depressants, because they didn’t solve the pain; I didn’t want to be pitied by friends, disbelieved by colleagues, and condescended to by clinicians.
"I didn’t want to spend another year on the sofa, looking out at a tree and watching the seasons change, I wanted my life back."