A friend’s lifelong battle against an incurable condition has inspired a Leamington man to complete a gruelling international rowing challenge and raise money for charity.
Having recently turned 50 and looking for something completely different from his daily routine, Martin Bramwell joined his friend Adrian Lindon from Coventry to form the Coventry Five-0 team on their boat Dream It Do It take part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
This involved rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua for 72 days from December to the beginning of March.
Mr Bramwell, a director for In-Car Cleverness Ltd, said: “It was an event of firsts - all 26 boats taking part finished for the first time and we also had to endure a hurricane for the first time.
“The task itself was 98 per cent boredom and monotony - this would get broken up by seeing a bird or a dolphin but as the journey went on it all became more painful.
“The main thinking behind it all was that we are both getting older and wanted to prove to ourselves we could still complete a challenge like this and, of course, raise some money for charity along the way.”
Mr Bramwell was raising money in sponsorship for Lupus UK.
Lupus is a chronic disease where a person’s immune system attacks their own body.
It can damage major organs - principally the kidneys and the skin but also the heart, lungs and brain.
Mr Bramwell’s life-long friend Stan Matheou, who lives in Solihull, was diagnosed with the disease when he was 19 and is also now 50.
To help with the fundraising effort, Mr Bramwell’s wife Kate and her business partner Kate Livingston are running an art auction at their gallery, Deasil in Oxford Street, Leamington, on Friday April 15 fro 6.30pm.
More than 25 artists from across the UK have donated their work, which is currently on display at the gallery.
Mr Bramwell said: “What Adrian and I did was just the tip of the iceberg.
“If the support and encouragement was not there from our families and friends then none of it would have been possible.”