Kent man pedals 100km after being told he’d never walk again

5 May 2017

Mark Duthoit and his mobility aidMark Duthoit, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent has pedalled 100km after being told he may never walk again. 

41-year old Mark took on the feat in honour of war hero and global humanitarian Leonard Cheshire’s 100th birthday, as he lives at the Leonard Cheshire Disability care home, Seven Spring in Tunbridge Wells. 

Mark has used a wheelchair since June 2015, after complications following surgery for hydrocephalus, commonly known as water on the brain. 

Doctors told Mark he may never walk again, but he was determined to stay active.

His drive led him to take on the charity’s 100for100 challenge, doing 100 of something to mark 100 years since the founder’s birth

Mark decided that he wanted to cycle 100km on a stationary motomed, an exercise bike that you can use whilst seated in a wheelchair.

He said: 

‘I thought the challenge was a great opportunity to improve my mobility and general fitness. It also gave me the chance to fundraise for Leonard Cheshire.’

The challenge took him for four weeks to complete, as he cycled for one hour three to five times a week.

After completing the challenge, he said:

‘I thought I was never going to get there, but I like a challenge and it was a fantastic goal to work towards. I would definitely do it again.’

Mark has so far has raised £170, going well above his original £100 target. He hopes the funds he raises will go towards providing entertainment and activities for his fellow residents at Seven Springs to enjoy. 

Jason Semple, service manager at Seven Springs, said:

‘I would just like to congratulate Mark on his hard work and effort on what is a fantastic achievement.’

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire would have been 100 years old in September this year, but sadly passed away in 1992 after almost half a century of humanitarian work supporting disabled people around the world.

Continuing his legacy, the charity currently runs care services globally, and also has specific projects to widen education and employment opportunities for disabled people.

Mark and all those taking on the challenge are sharing it on social media using the hashtag #100for100, tagging two friends to join the fun with their own #100for100 challenge. 

Leonard Cheshire Disability hopes the diverse range of #100for100 challenges will reflect the diversity of disability. It wants as many people as possible to take part, to raise awareness of Leonard Cheshire’s belief that disabled people should be able fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose.

Fundraising from #100for100 challenges will support the charity’s work across the country and internationally, including funding for people to access activities, innovative equipment and therapies which would not be supplied by social care.

The charity is asking people to fundraise by asking friends and family to text CHALLENGE to 70313 to donate £3 to support their #100for100 efforts.

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