A small group of dedicated competitors are aiming to achieve more than just completing this weekend’s Ironman at Taupo.
They will be completing a fundraising mission that has seem them raise over $26,000 to purchase a piece of equipment for New Zealanders disabled by spinal cord injury – many through sports such as rugby, horse-riding, cycling or skiing.
The Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Bicycle the Ironmen are looking to purchase was originally designed for Superman Christopher Reeves after he was paralysed in a horse-riding accident.
This bike ‘automates’ cycle movement with the aim of restoring movement for the patients.
The team were inspired by Bruce and Yvonne Reeves who dedicate a large part of their lives to help enable new spinal cord injury victims to try and regain some of their movement and independence.
The Reeves first tried to help spinal cord injury sufferers when training a wheelchair bound member of their Te Awamutu gym.
Tey opened a clinic called ReActivate for Spinal Cord Injury clients at the gym. The Reeves rely on fundraising for new equipment.
Mark Jackson decided to organize fundraising and drew together a team of three other Ironman competitors, Kristen Wilson, Tony & Verna Cook-Jackson with the aim of raising raising $25,000 before the start of Ironman. Along with the hours and hours of training required to compete in the Ironman (3.8k swim, 180k ride, & 42k run), the team has been dedicating any spare minutes to their fundraising challenge.
The New Zealand Herald