I was born profoundly deaf due to a genetic condition and spent my school years in a specialist boarding school for the Deaf. I had a cochlear implant in my right ear at the age of 3 to enable me to have access to sounds.
In 2011, at the age of 15, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in my left leg. I endured 8 months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment and underwent major limb-saving surgery to replace my knee and shin bone. But during my hospital stays I was determined to sit my GCSEs whilst wired up to my chemo from my hospital bed. After 8 months of treatment and surgery, I was cancer free!
Five years down the line, in 2016, (aged 20) my prosthetic implant became infected and I became seriously ill trying to fight the infection. Having lived with a problematic implant for 5 years, I decided to have an above-knee amputation of my left leg knowing that the advancement of prosthetics would accommodate my active lifestyle and give me a better quality of life.
I was an avid skier from the age of 4, skiing every year with my family but since my life was turned upside down by my cancer diagnosis, I was no longer able to ski. However, I wasn’t going to let this stop me. I looked into different ways of being able to enjoy the exhilaration of the mountains and soon came across an adaptive sport known as sit-skiing.
I spent two weeks learning to sit-ski in Val Thorens, France, initially renting equipment but knowing that this was something I wanted to do, I invested in my own sit-ski which enables me to ski independently.
Whilst on a recent ski holiday, I was approached by a training coach from the British Parasnowsport Development Team and consequently invited to a training camp in Landgraaf, the Netherlands. This was a great success for me and I am now on a training pathway with British Parasnowsports!
This will involve me participating in training camps throughout the year at various locations around the world to improve my race skills. I will also have the opportunity to compete in international races and build my profile as a para-athlete.
My ultimate goal is to compete in the Winter Paralympics in 2022 and have the honour of representing Great Britain.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of expense associated with attending the training camps and official races. To give you some idea of the expense: -
Ski Equipment – includes skis, adapted equipment spares, ski care equipment, helmet, body armour etc
Travel and accommodation
Bearing this in mind, my initial fundraising goal is to raise £10,000 to enable me to attend training camps and races throughout the next season - 2017/18.
I would be eternally grateful for any donation you are able to make to help me become a Paralympic Athlete!
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- mike P
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