A former soldier who was paralysed in a diving accident has pledged to cycle from London to Paris in aid of the Royal British Legion.
Steven Harrison, a former corporal in the 8th Bn. Yorkshire Light Infantry, will tackle the 292-mile annual Pedal to Paris challenge on September 5 alongside other volunteers fundraising for the charity.
The ex-soldier was paralysed in 1998 diving from a boat in shallow water, hitting the bottom and breaking his neck in three places. Since the injury, Steven, or ‘Harry’ as he’s known, has been wheelchair-bound, totally paralysed below his shoulders and left with only limited arm movement and no hand or finger dexterity. Despite the extreme physical limitations resulting from his accident, Steven is determined to live life to the full and fights a daily battle to regain as normal a life as possible. He has been supported by friend Liz Whitehurst, from Tingley, who will also be cycling the route.
Steven, from Wakefield, has also received help from the legion, which provided funding to help him finish a Master’s Degree and recently adapted a specialised three wheel bike to help him with hilly areas, which he’d struggled with due to limited muscle and strength.
Steven said: “My lifestyle wouldn’t be possible without the excellent care and support I receive, particularly from Liz who is supporting me throughout this challenge. Now I can cycle anywhere I choose and once again enjoy the Yorkshire countryside, more than I ever thought possible again.”
Steven and Liz set off from Eltham Palace on Thursday morning and are expecting to reach the Arc de Triomph on Sunday afternoon. The pair have raised more than £1,000 of their £3,000 target. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to pledge a donation.