The following is about Brendan Fitzgerald and why Brendan is returning to complete his next Dream Challenge fifteen years after completing his first. We hope you find Brendan’s story as inspiring as we do.
Regaining my independence...
In 1998 I suffered a fall which broke my neck. As a result I was diagnosed as Tetraplegic. This means that I have paralysis from the neck down, which affects both my arms and legs.
My injury happened when I was only 38. I was fit and active, and as a kick boxing instructor with two gorgeous children I enjoyed my life to the full. Unfortunately this type of injury can happen to anyone, with devastating effects. When I was going through my ‘darker times’ a charity called Regain provided me with a handcycle in order for me to try and build up my strength and fitness and help me to regain some independence.
I now want to do something to help others…
Regain is a charity which aims to improve the independence of British men and women who have become tetraplegic as a result of a sports of leisure injury. I now want to do something to help others who are going through what I went through.
To help Regain raise much needed funds I will be taking up the challenge to hand cycle 400kms across Cuba. The event is Cycle Cuba and is hosted by Dream Challenges.
A hand cycle is just as it sounds, a specially adapted cycle that is propelled by the arms instead of the legs. I know it will be tough (I am 55 and a bit of a desk jockey) especially using only my arms, but it will be worth the effort as all funds raised will support the work of Regain. They are the only charitable organisation in the country dedicated solely to improving the independence of people like myself who have become tetraplegic as a result of an accident.
I had completed similar previous challenges, hand cycling across Malawi and San Francisco but this was 15 years ago, so things have changed a bit. I chose to do another bike ride as I had thoroughly enjoyed the previous ones so much, and the feeling of achievement and camaraderie were so good that it is difficult to put into words.
My life is now back on track...
Although I am still a permanent wheelchair user, my life is now back on track and I am loved, healthy and happy. My training is going well, and my fundraising is on track. I am thoroughly looking forward to completing the event with my better half Tricia Taylor, and would say to anyone who is considering doing such an event…just Go For it. If I can do it…..so can you.
To see more of Brendan’s story please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Brenf2/
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