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Ash Wilson





You can follow Ash via this website or on Twitter: @Ashandlouuk

Ash Wilson is an adult volunteer leading the work with Hampshire’s 14 to 18 year old section called Explorer Scouts. Ash is an Epileptic, Cancer Survivor who attempted to row the Indian Ocean to raise Epilepsy awareness.


The challenge of rowing the Indian Ocean is daunting enough: in fact, only four pairs have ever completed the 3,600-mile route from Australia to Mauritius without a support boat, yet Ashley Wilson is prepared to take it on – despite living with epilepsy since the age of six and experiencing fits roughly once a week which at best leave him exhausted and, at worst, hospitalised.


“I’ve become so used to people saying, ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that’,” says Wilson, whose epilepsy became so severe at one point that he was having up to 20 seizures a day. It gets incredibly frustrating – I wanted to show that epilepsy doesn’t have to hold you back, you sometimes just need to take a different approach.”


The Scout volunteer from Wickham started thinking about ways to do this after a chance meeting with Ketchell, who works as an ambassador for the organisation, at a Scouting event three years ago. “We met up after and chucked a few ideas around over a couple of beers, we came up with the row as something that I could do safely.”


“The absolute worst case is that we have to set off a signal which asks for outside assistance,” says Wilson, who also overcame the rare cancer Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 19.


On life with epilepsy, Wilson added: “I just put up with the hand I was dealt. It’s probably been more difficult for those around me, like my three young children.

“My eldest is 12 and she’s seen me carried out of the house and put into an ambulance I don’t know how many times.”


Ash hopes to continue to raise awareness of epilepsy through speaking events after the Indian Ocean row. “There’s still a huge misunderstanding around the condition and we need to get rid of some of those stigmas,” he says.


Any sponsorship money raised by the pair will be split evenly between the Scout Association, the Young Epilepsy charity and the Elifar Foundation, which supports people with severe disabilities and their families.

In the News

2014 Oct – Basingstoke Gazette – Ashley said: “I have always been a fighter and am certainly not one to ever give up. Scouting has always been supportive of me and has helped me lead a normal life no matter what medical challenges have been thrown at me.” “I wanted to prove to everyone that my condition does not affect my ambition and ability to be a world record holder. Being a Scout has taught me that nothing’s impossible no matter how bad things are or may have been.” Adventurers try out Indian Ocean rowing boat

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