Injured veterans join forces for Blesma 100
A former soldier seriously injured when a car ploughed into his foot patrol is raising awareness of Blesma.
Jonathan Bell was paralysed from the upper chest, suffered serious head injuries and has had to have one of his feet amputated. He, along with a number of other soldiers injured in the incident, discovered a love for cycling and have been raising money and awareness of Blesma ever since.
Recalling the incident, Jonathan said: “We were on a Brigade exercise, training for deployment for Bosnia when a car went through our foot patrol at night. In total 16 guys were seriously injured." Jonathan, who was 26 years old at the time, spent 7 months in hospital. His leg had an external metal fixator put into place to try and save it for several years.
"Blesma got me into the hand cycling, and the effect of that one week has had a positive impact. This bike ride is about a bunch of old soldiers getting together to support a good cause as much as anything. There’s about five of us that were injured that day who are going to be riding.”
Last year, Jonathan led 75 veterans, most from his Regiment, on a 100-mile cycle ride across the South Yorkshire countryside to launch Blesma week. Altogether, the Blesma 100 raised more than £31,000 for the charity! Following the success of 2016, Jonathan is rallying his friends again to take on another 100 mile ride in North Lincolnshire on May 6th 2017.
"This year we want to make the ride more about raising awareness of Blesma. I would like the event to get as much media coverage as we can so we can help raise the profile of the charity and the great work Blesma does. So far we have 120 veterans riding on the day and we’re still looking for more riders to join us."
Riders will set off on May 6th 2017 “The Arrow Sportive” Market Rasen, N. Lincolnshire. If you would like to join fellow Blesma Members and veterans, please visit the UK Cycling Event website.
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