A father will be giving his legs a workout as he pedals 100 miles to help his brother-in-law regain the use of his more than 3,000 miles away.
Alan Barrett, a carpenter from Littlehampton, will be doing the Vélo South on Sunday, September 23, from Goodwood Motor Circuit to near Horsham and back for Brian Campbell, who lives in Toronto, Canada.
The 42-year-old was paralysed from the waist down in November, 2017, after falling 15ft from the roof of the family home when putting up Christmas lights.
Click here to read more stories, including a metal detectorist who found a couple’s lost wedding ring, why sewage tankers have been spotted near Littlehampton seafront, and a priest who has retired after 28 years of service.
Alan, 47, whose wife Linda is the sister of Brian’s wife, Claire, said: “Claire was in the house at the time and heard a horrendous screaming noise.
“She ran out and found him on the floor in agony. “He was in hospital for his son Charlie’s first birthday, which is awful.
“Nobody has ever said there is no chance of Brian ever walking again but it’s going to be a long road to recovery. And with Canada not having an NHS like we do and his insurance not covering him for the incident they’re facing real difficulties, including being forced to sell their dream home in a lovely Toronto suburb they had waited years to achieve.”
Brian’s friends have raised $25,000 to help pay for his emergency healthcare, and the couple have spent thousands more buying a new car for him to drive with hand controls, a crane lift for his wheelchair, the wheelchair itself and a self-propelling commode. They are currently living with Brian’s parents, who have converted their bungalow.
To begin his rehabilitation, the technical director at a theatre on the Toronto University campus needs a pair of $8,000 leg braces – and this is what Alan is fundraising for, training every other night and getting up at 5am every Saturday for a long bike ride. Since training, he has gone from cycling three miles to a personal best of 41 miles.
Claire said: “Words cannot even express how truly grateful we as a family are for what Alan is doing for us.
“He is really pushing his limits and doing us all proud.”
To support Alan’s fundraising, visit facebook.com/Big-Als-Bike-Challenge-1831191990274546
With around 1,700m of climbing through the South Downs National Park, Vélo South organisers describe the route as ‘fairly challenging’. Around 15,000 riders are expected to take part in the closed-road route.