Able2Do Anything: Achievements

Disabled veterans take on Remembrance challenge for charity

Steve Boylan, Vardre Holland and Andy Dickinson

A trio of disabled veterans are gearing themselves up for a challenge to support a charity which has helped them gain their independence ahead of Remembrance Day.

The annual Race for Remembrance is organised by Care for Veterans to pay tribute to those who lost their lives or severely injured in conflict honouring the Armed Forces community.

Thanks to the Worthing charity hundreds of veterans have been looked after in the 63-bed facility which offers vital services such as rehabilitation, respite as well as long-term and palliative care for disabled ex-service personnel.

The charity helps injured veterans learn to walk again, communicate with others and regain as much independence as possible.

Care for Veterans fundraising support officer Jaime Mootealoo told Yahoo News: “For Race for Remembrance, individuals can choose a fitness challenge, alongside the number eleven which represents Remembrance Day, annually held on November 11.

“This could mean running or swimming 11k, cycling 11 miles or even walking 11,000 steps for 11 days in November. Participants will choose where and when they want to complete their task, and will hopefully be sponsored by family and friends. To celebrate this achievement, we will send them a personal certificate to acknowledge their brilliant efforts.”

Steve Boylan, Varde Holland and Andy Dickson have all stepped up to take on the challenge on November 9th.

Former Royal Engineer Boylan will complete an 11k cycle. After serving in Kosovo, Afghanistan his life was turned upside down when he was involved in a serious road accident at the age of 39 which led to a life-changing brain injury and partial paralysis.

He now cycles 4k on a regular basis on a wheelchair adapted bike.

Holland, the oldest out of the group at an impressive 99, will spend his final year in double digits kicking a football 11 times standing up. He arrived at the centre eight years ago after surviving a stroke which weakened his muscles and took away control in the left side of his body. 

But through sheer determination he has regained enough strength to take on the challenge by having physiotherapy twice a week.

“I am determined to complete this challenge in memory of my Uncle Lance Sergeant John James Horgen, who was killed whilst serving in Tunisia in 1943 during WWII,” he said.

Dickinson is also a stroke survivor, in 2019 the Royal Navy veteran was left with vision loss and partial paralysis, he now relies on a wheelchair but has maintained as much strength as he possibly can.

His part of the challenge will see him completing three sets of eleven sit-to-stands.

[ You can sponsor Steve, Varde and Andy through their joint JustGiving page ]

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