At the age of 5, New College Pontefract student Thomas Goodall was diagnosed with Absence Seizures, a type of epilepsy. These made learning very difficult in his first years at school. Then just when Thomas thought the seizures were starting to become under control, they returned at the age of 11 as nocturnal seizures and again impacted on his education during his SAT exams. Doctors prescribed the medication that Thomas still takes to this day and his condition is kept under control.
However, in 2015, Thomas’s doctor was to prescribe a different form of medication, one that would have a huge positive impact on his life. What started as some ‘gentle’ cycling once a week in order to strengthen the left side of his body, caused by the years of daily seizures, has turned into a total lifestyle choice that has not only benefitted Thomas himself. Tom has recently taken part in the Prince of Wales Cyclothon where he chose the longest route of 100 miles., starting and finishing at Pontefract park. Here he raised almost £500 for the Epilepsy Society.
Thomas came to New College from The King’s School in Pontefract and he studies BTEC Business, BTEC Media and BTEC IT. He is currently on track to achieve a clean sweep of Distinction* grades. He cycles to college every day and rides 30 miles on an evening . On weekends he ups the mileage to at least 60 miles a day and now completes 100 mile rides. Thomas said, “I’m totally convinced that cycling has played a huge role in keeping my epilepsy under control. It’s a huge release that helps to clear my mind of everything else happening in my life. For some that might be stress at home or work, for me it’s epilepsy. Cycling is the only sport I’ve found in which you can channel the negativity in your life and turn it on its head, pushing harder and harder and breaking through barriers that you never thought possible. The absolute worst thing you can do is sit on the sofa and feel sorry for yourself.”
Tom is now saving for a carbon race bike and looking forward to competing with Criterium Racing in Yorkshire.
You can keep up to date with Thomas on his Facebook page, The Cycling Bible, where he features people who use cycling to achieve amazing feats.