😲 Wow…The ‘I Newspaper’ has interviewed me and just published my story today for “Know your Numbers” week by Blood Pressure UK

Hi all! I’ve been interviewed again this week for the annual “Know Your Numbers” week 2021 (this week). I think you’ll remember the ‘Ultra Step Challenge’ i did during advent 2020 for the Blood Pressure UK charity…And they wanted to use the ‘I Newspaper’ to interview me from a slightly different angle for this years case study too! 😀 

It’s a great article and it almost makes me sound inspirational, lol! 🤣 Please take a read!

Article…

‘It felt like my head was exploding’: Blind man describes how he lost his sight at 24 after brain haemorrhage
Steve Rebus’s optic nerve burst because his blood pressure was so high, causing him to suffer two brain haemorrhages

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Steve walked 266 miles to raise money for Blood Pressure UK in December 2020.
Steve Rebus knew he had a family history of high blood pressure but never expected it would leave him blind following two brain haemorrhages in March 2000 when he was just 24 years old.

“I woke up and I literally couldn’t move,” Mr Rebus, now 46, told i. “Luckily my mobile was on the table next to me, and I could just move my arm across to call for help, otherwise the doctors said that would’ve been it.

“The ambulance rushed me straight to hospital and my blood pressure was 280/220mmHg [a normal reading is 120/80mmHg]. It was that night when my optic nerve burst because my blood pressure was so high and I had two brain haemorrhages.”

Richard Francis, Head of Research at the Stroke Association, said high blood pressure puts a strain on all blood vessels, including ones leading to the brain.

“In some cases the extra strain may cause a weakened blood vessel to burst inside the brain, causing bleeding into surrounding tissues. This is called a haemorrhagic stroke,” said Mr Francis.

Mr Rebus said it was “the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through” and added: “It was like a movie when you see a head explode, it was that kind of pressure.

“I put my head under the pillow and tried to squeeze it until the pain went away two or three days later.”

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Steve and his wife Sarah on holiday in Roatán, a Caribbean island.

Steve and his wife Sarah on holiday in Roatán, a Caribbean island (Photo: Supplied)
More than one third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, and another one third of adults are unaware that their blood pressure is high, according to CEO of Blood Pressure UK Phil Pyatt.

High blood pressure is almost entirely treatable but it kills thousands of people per year as it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Mr Rebus has his own blood pressure monitor and regularly checks himself as well as his friends and family: “I check everyone’s blood pressure now.

“You don’t realise how energetic and happy you can be when you’ve not got that worry of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure,” he said.

“It’s really nice not living on that danger line. It’s way less stressful.”

Before his brain haemorrhages, he played football, went to the gym and worked at a body shop repairing cars.

Doctors initially told him that his sight would eventually come back and he has noticed some improvements in his vision but at a regular check-up in July 2000 he was given the news that he was registered blind.

“As a gym-going footballer nothing really phased me until then,” he said. “I walked out the room and I just fell on the floor bawling my eyes out.”

The first few years after losing his sight were incredibly tough, Mr Rebus said. “I was suicidal non-stop with dark depression. They sent me to all kinds of therapy that didn’t work and I was getting drunk so I wouldn’t hear the voices in my head saying ‘no one wants you you’re rubbish’.

“I didn’t have the strength to live but I didn’t have the strength to kill myself either.

Me Winners Trophy

Steve ‘pushes the barriers’ of what he thinks a blind man can do by taking on physical challenges for charity.

In 2004, he met his now wife Sarah who “changed everything” at an annual sight-loss conference called Sight Village. “We always call it ‘love at first Sight Village’,” Mr Rebus said.

“Sarah worked for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She came to our stall because she’d written an article in a magazine about our charity, Look UK, which I was volunteering for at the time.

“We were looking through the article together but then I said: ‘You do know I didn’t see any of that because I’m blind?’ She looked at my face to see whether I was joking or not, and that was it…she liked my sense of humour apparently.”

After 21 years, Mr Rebus said he has learned to live with being blind and said he likes to “push the barrier” of what a blind person is expected to do, completing a Tough Mudder challenge in October 2018 and a 266 mile charity walk during December 2020 for Blood Pressure UK.

In April 2022, he is taking on a trail marathon through the woods near his house in aid of the MS Society, in memory of his mother, who died of progressive multiple sclerosis the same year he was registered as blind.

What should your blood pressure be?

‘Know Your Numbers! Week’ is a campaign by Blood Pressure UK with the aim “reaching the millions of people who have high blood pressure but don’t know it, so they can get the treatment and support they need to bring it under control,” the charity’s CEO Phil Pyatt said.

Everyone is encouraged to routinely check their blood pressure either with a home monitor or a GP check up.

Anyone with normal blood pressure of 120/80mmHg is recommended to have a check up every five years.

Anyone above the age of 50 or anyone on the upper end of normal between 130/85 and 139/89 should get checked at least once a year.

Although there are some risk factors for high blood pressure such as old age, ethnic group, family history or underlying conditions like kidney disease, “mostly it’s due to lifestyle”, said Mr Pyatt.

Eating healthily, cutting down on salt intake, being active, not drinking too much alcohol and not smoking can keep your blood pressure down, he added.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) backs the Know Your Numbers! Week campaign. Julie Ward, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the BHF said: “There are up to 4.8 million adults in the UK who are undiagnosed with the high blood pressure, which is sometimes referred to as a silent killer because it often doesn’t present with any symptoms.

“If you are living with high blood pressure but don’t get diagnosed or treated then it can lead to other health issues such as heart attack or stroke.

“Anybody can be living with the condition, that’s why it’s important that you regularly get your blood pressure checked and know your numbers. It could end up saving your life.

The Stroke Association also supports the campaign. Richard Francis, Head of Research at the Stroke Association, said: “High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it is a contributing factor in around half of all strokes, making it the biggest single risk factor for stroke.

“Measuring your blood pressure is quick, simple and painless, and can be carried out at your doctor’s surgery or at some pharmacies.”

😲Yay…-70lb Weight Loss Badge! 🙌

70 pound weight loss badge

Wow…I simply can’t believe i’ve achieved this goal, after stepping off the scales this morning. To say i’m excited is an understatement!! 😲   

It’s taken me about 2 months to reach this next -5 pound badge as i’m almost at maintenance calories now. I absolutely love the food i eat now and wouldn’t change it back for anything. I don’t feel hungry (never thought it was possible) and most important of all…I can live on this healthy meal plan for the rest of my life!! 💪🏼 😀 

Me CPAW

It’s not too late, to sign up for Activ8…!!!  💪🏼 😀

You can still sign up for the next 2 weeks.

Activ8 Logo

Hi friends…💪🏼 😀  

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer? 🤔  

Sarah and I have just signed up for the “Activ8 Plan” with World Cancer Research Fund as part of Cancer Prevention Awareness Week. So for once I’m not fundraising and bombarding you with donation asks, just sharing information to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle lol! 🤣  

You may not be aware (like me) of all the lifestyle choices we make that can affect our cancer risk. 😲  

Info taken from the World Cancer Research Fund website… 

What is Cancer Prevention Awareness Week?

 Cancer Prevention Awareness Week is an annual event where we draw awareness to cancer and cancer prevention. Currently, 40% of people diagnosed are diagnosed with a cancer that could have been prevented.

Knowing what you need to do and making small, consistent changes to the lives of you and your loved ones can help you avoid preventable cancers. …..

Activ8: Eat Well, Move More…
We’ve also launched a healthy living programme to support people who want to eat better and move more.

By signing up, you’ll get 8 weeks’ worth of motivational emails, which will include links to specific nutrition and physical activity resources such as tip-sheets and videos, as well as live support from our experts.

Make preventing cancer part of your everyday life. By following our Cancer Prevention Recommendations you’re giving yourself the best chance of reducing the risk of at least 12 types of cancer. Take action today!

 I can’t thank you guys enough for all of the support you’ve given Sarah & me over the years!! I encourage you to join us on this challenge so that you too can protect yourselves against cancer and lead happier, healthier lives….  Thank you and God Bless. 💪🏼 😀 

Join Us To Eat Well & Move More! 💪🏼 😀

Activ8 Logo

Hi friends…💪🏼 😀 

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer? 🤔  

Sarah and I have just signed up for the “Activ8 Plan” with World Cancer Research Fund as part of Cancer Prevention Awareness Week. So for once I’m not fundraising and bombarding you with donation asks, just sharing information to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle lol! 🤣 

You may not be aware (like me) of all the lifestyle choices we make that can affect our cancer risk. 😲  

Info taken from the World Cancer Research Fund website… 

What is Cancer Prevention Awareness Week?

 Cancer Prevention Awareness Week is an annual event where we draw awareness to cancer and cancer prevention. Currently, 40% of people diagnosed are diagnosed with a cancer that could have been prevented.

Knowing what you need to do and making small, consistent changes to the lives of you and your loved ones can help you avoid preventable cancers. …..

Activ8: Eat Well, Move More…
We’ve also launched a healthy living programme to support people who want to eat better and move more.

By signing up, you’ll get 8 weeks’ worth of motivational emails, which will include links to specific nutrition and physical activity resources such as tip-sheets and videos, as well as live support from our experts.

Make preventing cancer part of your everyday life. By following our Cancer Prevention Recommendations you’re giving yourself the best chance of reducing the risk of at least 12 types of cancer. Take action today!

 I can’t thank you guys enough for all of the support you’ve given Sarah & me over the years!! I encourage you to join us on this challenge so that you too can protect yourselves against cancer and lead happier, healthier lives….  Thank you and God Bless. 💪🏼 😀 
 

💪🏼Yay…-65lb Weight Loss Badge! 🙌

65lb weight loss badge

A little progress each day adds up to big results. Keep chipping away at your goal and soon you’ll realise that all those little victories add up to the biggest victory of all…Reaching your goals! 😀  

I love the quote above (although not sure who said it) as i have personal experience of living it…But more importantly, i like to celebrate every little goal and achievement badge i earn. 💪🏼 😀  

I’m still not finished yet though and i would like to get to 5 stone (70lb) weight loss! If i can get to this huge milestone i can then evaluate and see if i’m lean enough, and switch to maintenance calories instead of this healthy calorie deficit i’ve been on since 1st June 2020!!  

Weight loss benefits…

The 2 fantastic health & prevention charities i love are WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund) and BPUK (Blood Pressure UK), because they really help me with their recommendations on living a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few reasons from them on why i now focus on losing (and maintaining) a healthy weight. 😀 

From WCRF…

Me WCRF

“Obesity, weight and cancer risk…Our research shows that being overweight or obese is a cause of 12 types of cancer…”

  1. Bowel
  2. Breast (post-menopausal)
  3. Gallbladder
  4. Kidney
  5. Liver
  6. Mouth, pharynx and larynx
  7. Oesophagus (adenocarcinoma)
  8. Ovary
  9. Pancreas
  10. Prostate (advanced)
  11. Stomach (cardia)
  12. Womb

From BPUK…

Me BPUK 1

“Being a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for your blood pressure…” 

How does losing weight help lower your blood pressure?

If you are overweight, losing weight will lower your blood pressure because your heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump the blood around your body. It lowers your risk of many other health problems, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease, and can make you feel better too, giving you more energy to do the things you want to.

How to lose weight healthily…Read the recommendations.

As i’m a stats person…Reading all the numbers behind what can be achieved and prevented is mind blowing, and this is why i started taking control of the things i CAN change, and not the things i CAN’T.

Now i just want to share all of this good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers, strokes, high blood pressure & many more…That we can prevent! 💪🏼 😀 

Yay…My Weight Goal Met Badge! 💪🏼

Weight loss goal badge

I stepped off the scales this morning with a mixture of disbelief, excitement and joy, as i’d lost 4½ (63lb) stone! As i entered the numbers into the “MyFitnessPal” app (which syncs with the “Fitbit” app) i was awarded this great achievement badge. 😀

I didn’t have any hopes of achieving this goal as i only set my goal by accident (the fitbit app is not accessible for the blind on entering a weight goal), but i had it stuck in the back of my mind as i focused on the smaller -5lb weight loss, more achievable goals. I’m still not finished yet though and i would like to get to 5 stone (70lb) weight loss! If i can get to this huge milestone i can then evaluate and see if i’m lean enough, and switch to maintenance calories instead of this healthy calorie deficit i’ve been on since 1st June 2020!! 💪🏼 😀 

Weight loss benefits…

The 2 fantastic health & prevention charities i love are WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund) and BPUK (Blood Pressure UK), because they really help me with their recommendations on living a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few reasons from them on why i now focus on losing (and maintaining) a healthy weight. 😀 

From WCRF…

Me WCRF

“Obesity, weight and cancer risk…Our research shows that being overweight or obese is a cause of 12 types of cancer…”

  1. Bowel
  2. Breast (post-menopausal)
  3. Gallbladder
  4. Kidney
  5. Liver
  6. Mouth, pharynx and larynx
  7. Oesophagus (adenocarcinoma)
  8. Ovary
  9. Pancreas
  10. Prostate (advanced)
  11. Stomach (cardia)
  12. Womb

From BPUK…

Me BPUK 1

“Being a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do for your blood pressure…” 

How does losing weight help lower your blood pressure?

If you are overweight, losing weight will lower your blood pressure because your heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump the blood around your body. It lowers your risk of many other health problems, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease, and can make you feel better too, giving you more energy to do the things you want to.

How to lose weight healthily…Read the recommendations.

As i’m a stats person…Reading all the numbers behind what can be achieved and prevented is mind blowing, and this is why i started taking control of the things i CAN change, and not the things i CAN’T.

Now i just want to share all of this good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers, strokes, high blood pressure & many more…That we can prevent! 💪🏼 😀 

Blindman Tough Mudder Update – 5 Days To Go!

Oh no……With only 5 days left until “Tough Mudder”, Sarah and i went into the woods to try out my new trail shoes and also try and get some photos of me jogging/training for World Cancer Research Fund as they want some promotional shots.

Sarah did an amazing job getting me to run in a straight line…..She had to walk with me to get into position….Then walk away until she was in position. Then after Sarah shouts “GO!” I hopefully run in a straight line towards her(not through her) and she can get some shots.

I’m not sure how she did it…..But it looks like i’m jogging on my own and also looks like i’e been jogging for miles, lol…..Not just 50 feet at a time! 😎 💪🏼 

Me running through the woods

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Be inspired…

My Tough Mudder Challenge

Who Is Bananaman?

Carrying A Princess

I thought i’d just share a photo with you guys of my fun afternoon….Giving my lovely wife Sarah(Princess) a lift around our local common. I keep saying to Sarah “It’s great to finally give you a lift, as i haven’t driven a car since i was registered blind 18 years ago! 🤣  

In case you’re wondering why……I’ve been challenge by Sarah’s nail tech/artist to do a Tough Mudder 5K on 13th October 2018 One of the activities(called Hero Carry) is to carry someone for a quarter of a mile. 

Sarah as my Backpack

Big thanks to our friend Sara for capturing this fun photo! 😝