Damien gets on his bike to prove that limb loss is not a limitation

JPCT-10-02-12 Damian MacDonald - amputee is completing two cycle challenges this year after climbing mount kilimanjaro in 2010 and did a cycle challenge in Paris last year. Shelley Drive, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham S12070142a -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT-10-02-12 Damian MacDonald - amputee is completing two cycle challenges this year after climbing mount kilimanjaro in 2010 and did a cycle challenge in Paris last year. Shelley Drive, Broadbridge Heath, Horsham S12070142a -photo by Steve Cobb

MOST people would be quite content having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and cycling 200 miles from London to Paris for charity.

Not Damian MacDonald of Shelley Drive, Broadbridge Heath though, whose feats for charity are even more remarkable considering he is a below-the-knee amputee.

The 43 year old, who had his left leg amputated in 1987 following a road accident in South Africa, is now adding to his list of achievements with two more charity cycle challenges.

It took Damian 20 years to discover there is ‘life after limb loss’ with the help of charity LimbPower, which he will be raising money for.

In June he will be pedalling in Nightrider, a 60 mile overnight cycle around London, whilst in July he plans to cycle the length of Ireland, more than 360 miles.

The annual Nightrider event is organised by charity challenge specialists Classic Tours, and Damian’s ten to 20 member Limbpower team will be amongst the 300 participants.

“The 100km route takes in a lot of London’s popular sites and the opportunity to cycle through London on nearly deserted streets is just too much to pass up,” said Damian.

“The Nightrider event is on the well-lit streets of London, on a clearly marked and marshalled route, in staggered starting groups of 75 so the hazard is unlike cycling solo on an unlit country road.”

The latter is something Damian will have to contend with during the LimbPower Cycle Ireland - altogether a ‘much greater challenge’.

The ride starts at the most southerly point of Ireland at Mizen Head finishing at the most northerly part Malin Head, more than 360 miles away.

Damian is confident about completing both events, and feels there are no limitations.

He said: “I may not be as quick as someone with two whole legs might be, but neither event is a race. It’s about living without limitations. Limitations are in our minds.

“Whenever I have participated in a charity event I have enjoyed the company of wonderful, inspirational people, have been able to learn from other amputees and made lasting friendships.”

For more information on LimbPower visit www.limbpower.com/events/