It takes a hero to take on a challenge to help better the lives of others. It takes a superhero to overcome their own injuries, and disregard their own personal setbacks, to help people less fortunate than themselves. JJ Chalmers is just the kind of superhero who uses his astounding amount of strength and determination, to push himself to the limit to give the less fortunate the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.
JJ was fighting in Afghanistan in 2011 when he was severely injured by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). He returned to the UK to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where he underwent numerous reconstructive operations on several different parts of his body. He has lost two fingers and has undergone surgery on his face and both of his legs. Doctors took muscle lining from his leg to replace a severed tendon in his tricep, and at one point during his recovery had his arm grafted to his body to keep it supplied with blood whilst doctors tried to repair the joint with titanium. When speaking about his rehabilitation JJ said “The road to recovery does not go in one straight line. Every time you take a step forward you suffer a knock back. However, when you get over that set back you find yourself further forward than ever before.”
In 2014 JJ’s battle against his injuries was complete, and he was victorious. He took part in the Invictus Games of 2014, a sporting event specifically for injured Service men and women set up by HRH Prince Harry to give people like JJ the chance to prove that their lives aren’t going to be ruled by their injuries, and that they are still just as capable of competing in sporting activities as anybody else. When talking about why he continues to take part in sporting activities he said “Sport has always been a part of my life and so disability sport has been a crucial part of my recovery and has allowed me to stay fit and active as well as providing me with some unforgettable experiences”.
The ability to do sporting activities is something that everybody deserves, and is something that JJ really believes in. That is why he is taking part in the 2015 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on a Recumbent Trike for the charity Get Kids Going! “It is a simple fact that if an able-bodied person wants to exercise all they need to do is pop out and buy a pair of trainers and off they go. However, the challenge is very different for the disabled person. They will need bespoke equipment which has been adapted to meet their individual needs and that comes at a price. Get Kids Going! Helps to level the playing field so that kids who are ‘otherwise able’ can have the support they need to enjoy an active involvement in sporting activity.” JJ is passionate about making sure that disabled children get the same opportunities that he has had to compete in a sporting environment.
You can support JJ on his Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 by going to his Virgin Money Giving page.
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