Five amateur cyclists are about to embark on a special mission to help a Ripon teenager paralysed in a cycling accident to achieve her Paralympic Games dreams.
Jenny Unwin was 15 when she was knocked off her bike in July at Bishop Monkton crossroads while commuting from a shift at her summer job at Cascade Garden Centre to her home in Burton Leonard.
The accident severed Jenny’s spine, leaving her paralysed from the chest down.
Her initial rehabilitation was undertaken at the specialist spinal unit at Pinderfield’s Hospital in Wakefield and she returned home just before Christmas.
An appeal fund was set up by her former employer Pam Dyson, which aims to provide Jenny with additional support securing her the ability to lead an independent life in the years ahead.
The fund has already raised £45,000. Such is Jenny’s will to succeed she is already hoping to compete in the Paralympics in 2020, either on a bike or in the swimming pool.
And to help her further, five local men are bidding to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats – a distance of around 900 miles – in just four days to raise funds for the appeal.
They are receiving a helping hand in the form of some free equipment from Ripon-based Moonglu Cycling Shop but are also seeking sponsorship from any local firms who might be interested.
“We have been planning this challenge for nearly a year now and Jenny’s cause is the ideal reason for doing it”, says one of the riders, Dave Moss-Blundell.
“It’s a tragic story but Jenny is an amazing young lady and we hope to be able to raise a substantial amount of money to help her, not only with her day-to-day living expenses but also to build towards the Olympics in 2020.
“Having met her we have no doubt that she has the determination to succeed but she needs the financial support.”
If you would like to donate, or are interested in sponsoring the team’s effort, visit www.bmycharity.com/cycle4jenny or contact Dave Moss-Blundell on 07739 720732.