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Latest News 15 April 2017

Injured veterans join forces for Blesma 100

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Blesma 100 sets off on May 6th 2017

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.”

Blesma 100

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."

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John Grimes

Would like to say the inspiration you guys show is fantastic. I would like to ride one of your sportives one day, could you keep me informed on whats going on. Thanks guys and much respect.

Lee Boothby

It was an true honour to ride with BLESMA in Lincoln today and a huge thank you to Jackie Boyce for inviting me along. From the moment I arrived yesterday evening I was made to feel so welcome and part of the team, actually part of the Green Howards family, met some great people, laughed till my sides ached, managed to help Jackie get a great time of 5hrs 25mins but most of all in a small way helped the boys to achieve their goal and raise awareness of BLESMA. The most moving part of the two days was meeting some truely inspirational people still living life without compromise despite the life changing injuries they've experienced, makes me feel very humble especially in the presence of Jonathan Bell last night, thanks for the BLESMA shirt Jonathan I will wear it with pride, you are a gentleman.

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