It gives me great pleasure today to welcome author, Dawne Archer, over to Patricia’s Pen to chat about her book, Trekker Girl Morocco Bound, and help raise awareness of thrombosis. Without further ado, it’s over to Dawne.
Trekking the Sahara Desert
I wrote Trekker Girl Morocco Bound for a number of reasons, including commemorating the Sahara Trek which is something I will never forget. Despite the practical difficulties, it is an awe inspiring environment, starkly beautiful, exciting and dramatic.
I also wanted to raise awareness of thrombosis and as a kind of memorial to my Dad who died of a blood clot in his lung.
The trek was a big deal for me. I was in my early 50s and reasonably fit but it was a real challenge, taxing me emotionally and physically in ways I had never expected. I actually walked slowly and painfully, wearing a back brace and using two hiking poles to drag myself up the sand dunes, munching high doses of painkillers. You’ll have to read the book to find out why I was in such a state though, as that would be giving too much away!
In addition to this, I have inherited a clotting disorder which makes me prone to blood clots in certain situations. For instance, we are all at risk of a clot after an operation due to being immobile. I am 88 times more at risk so it is something I have learned to live with.
It was hard to relive my blood clot journey which was dramatic and emotional. Then I talk about losing my Dad and you can imagine how hard that was. Yet I felt it was essential to bring home to readers the reality of thrombosis and how it can affect anyone’s life, often without warning. Awareness is key to saving lives.
There is an underlying theme in my book which is that of an important friendship, renewed in later life and now deeply cherished. My friend Sarah and I jointly decided on this trek and the book tells you about meeting up again and our decision to do something important together. I can honestly say that it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Why do I support Thrombosis UK? This is what they have to say:
Our priority is for everyone to KNOW the Risks Signs & Symptoms of VTE and to support research to extend UNDERSTANDING into the PREVENTION and BEST MANAGEMENT of VTE. (VTE is Venous Thrombo Embolism, essentially blood clots in the veins such as DVT in the leg or a Pulmonary Embolism in the lung.)
Thrombosis UK is a registered charity in England (1090540) and I donate royalties to them.
Statistics on the subject are frightening. Did you know that 1 in 4 deaths worldwide are thrombosis related? Or that one person dies every 6 seconds from thrombosis around the world? I could go on but, as writers tend to be sedentary creatures, perhaps I should leave you with the thought that we lose 50% of the blood flow in our legs after sitting for only 90 minutes. I keep an alarm clock on my desk which rings every hour to remind me to get up and move around, grab a glass of water to keep well hydrated, anything to keep that lifeblood flowing.
Thank you, Dawne, for such an informative blog. You are an inspiration and what a wonderful tribute to your dad.
About Dawne Archer
Dawne is lucky to be alive, having survived blood clots in her leg and lung aged 26. She vowed to live life to the full and has indulged her curious nature in travel as well as interviewing interesting people on the radio. Often roles are reversed and she becomes the interviewee in her quest to raise awareness of thrombosis.
Trekking the Sahara Desert may have been a step too far in her fundraising for Thrombosis UK but it was just the start.
Dawne tried her hand at writing and her first book Trekker Girl Morocco Bound is the result.