This week we want to introduce you to inspirational #TeamARUK member Shaun Whiter.
Shaun had his legs amputated after a hit-and-run crash in 2016. He was injured when he was hit by a car while changing a tyre at the side of the road.
Following extensive rehabilitation, the 31-year-old has learned to run on blades and has been gradually building up his distance. On Sunday he’ll be one of 180 runners taking on the Cambridge Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
He is raising money for dementia research in honour of his grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease.
He said: “My grandmother lives in Ireland and during the time I was going through my rehabilitation I was not able to get over to see her. I am now able to see her more often, but her dementia has progressed and she struggles to remember who I am. I think she knows about my accident, but then it’s hard to know her feelings about it and how much she’s aware of it.
“Dementia is horrible – it doesn’t just affect the person dealing with it, it affects the whole family. I would do anything to change it. Research is so important and there have got to be breakthroughs. If we don’t support the research, people are just going to keep having to deal with this.”
Running a half marathon is the latest in a series of challenges Shaun has taken on since the accident. In 2017 he completed a 150-mile two-day tour of Suffolk on a hand-pedal bike and last year he climbed Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.
He said: “It’s been a two-year project to get to this race. I felt like I was physically fit, but it wasn’t until I did upright cardio again that I realised I was essentially starting from scratch.
“I had to get used to running on blades which is very different. Remember Michael Johnson who had a very upright running style, you can’t run like that on blades as you’d waste so much energy just bouncing up and down. You’ve got to lean forward to get the momentum from the blade.
“I’ve had to build it up, getting used to the technique. I started out doing 400m, then 800m, then moved up to a mile and have continued from there. I ran my first 10km race in May last year and then decided I wanted to continue to push it further so set the goal of doing a half marathon.”
To sponsor Shaun go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shaun-And-Henry
If you are inspired by Shaun’s story, why not sign up for a running event for Alzheimer’s Research UK? We have places available in a number of prestigious races.
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