Imagine cycling 100 miles. Now imagine having to cycle it with the use of only one working leg. Despite never having entered the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 before, this is the challenge Amanda Love is facing after having a discectomy (operation to her spine) and experiencing nerve damage to one of her legs.
Not content with just putting herself through her paces on the road to recovery with a 100 mile cycle, Amanda has become a #RideLondon fundraising hero by giving back to a small charity, Aspire – which helps those with spinal injuries.
Amanda tells us “I’ve suffered with a bad back’ for many years, however in January 2014 everything came to a head, the pain made giving birth to twins feel like a walk in the park, and I underwent a discectomy”. Her recovery has been slow with several setbacks and even nerve damage in her leg.
The charity Amanda is fundraising for, Aspire, was founded in 1982 to provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. The charity point out that “Every eight hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. It can happen to anyone at any time and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure.”
Starting her training from scratch has not been easy, especially due to the nerve damage Amanda sustained, meaning she will be powering round the 100 mile course with only one working leg. She tells us “I was completely unable to cycle after my operation, I kept feeling like I was falling off” but after starting with very short, flat rides and “lots of stops for coffee and cake“, after 18 months Amanda says she’s reached a point where hills are her friends.
One of the things helping to keep her motivated to stick to her training is how fortunate she feels to be able to do the things she can do. Amanda adds, “Others were not as fortunate as me in their recovery. I work with a guy the same age as me who has had the same operation as me, and is now using a wheelchair as he can’t walk any distance and is constant pain.”
Amanda also adds some fundraising advice, saying that setting a tangible target, one that will buy something specific or provide a specific service, has been a real help. Amanda is trying to raise enough money for Aspire to buy two sets of Dragon Voice Recognition software for a computer, for people with serious spinal injuries. So why not give her a boost and donate via her Virgin Money Giving page?
Are you a Prudential RideLondon Fundraising Hero?
If you’re riding in the 2015 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, set up your fundraising page today.
And if you already have a fundraising page, you can find more fundraising tips here.