Local Man To Make Heroic Trip To Paris For Spinal Injury Charities

Despite being confined to a wheelchair following an accident Mike Wigney remains a champion bellringer and choir member


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Local resident Mike Wigney, a long standing member of the Chiswick Choir, is making a heroic trip to Paris by handcycle raising money for two charities which help people with the transition to everyday life following spinal injuries.

Mike is himself confined to a wheelchair following an accident fourteen years ago, when his spine was crushed by a rockfall while climbing the Alps.

The Chiswick Choir and DHL are delighted to be sponsoring Mike in his epic trip to Paris to raise funds for the re-habilitation of spinally injured people. The journey via a Channel Crossing Newhaven to Dieppe, is 290kms and involves 3,000m of climbing (about 2 vertical miles). This will all be done on his hand-propelled tricycle.

No stranger to physical challenges, he relaxed after finishing his degree by punting from Oxford to Leeds. Mike was an enthusiastic climber, and he visited the Alps most summers, until he was knocked off a a cliff by a rock fall and his spine was crushed by one of the rocks.

He was at the spinal unit at Stoke Mandeville for rehabilitation for a long time. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, he resumed as many of his former activities as he was able. He continued singing with the Chiswick Choir, playing the organ and bell ringing. He runs bell ringing practises at St Nicholas Church, Chiswick Mall and is the Training Officer for Middlesex County Bellringers.

In the 14 years since his accident he has rung 24 full peals (each takes about 3 hours) and over 900 quarter peals in about 350 churches all round Britain, all has been done from a wheelchair but sometimes he has needed a piggy back to get up spiral staircases.

Mike returned to his work as an accountant at DHL following his rehabilitation and he has worked there since 1991, and they have offered to match the sponsorship money raised.

Mike comments: "I must be mad. Three days of handcycling from Crystal Palace to Paris via Newhaven and Dieppe, the shortest is 88km, the longest 107km, and over 1,000m of ascent each day.  My furthest in a day so far was about 77km and that was in flat Suffolk.  I have been in training since January....."

The two charities Mike is raising money for are Aspire, which helps people to get back into life in the community after they leave hospital, with temporary accommodation, training, support –and the Backup Trust, which arranges activities and courses to get people active again – most spinal injuries are to young people, with the main causes being sporting injuries and motor-cycle accidents.

People are very welcome to leave Donations for this worthy cause.

May 18, 2016

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