Amputees to benefit from cycle of hope

Shannon BeattieNorth West Telegraph
START Foundation riders pedal in to Port Hedland; Lesa Ashford, Michelle Jelleff, Rob Wilson, Kerryn Harvey and Renee Brogan.
Camera IconSTART Foundation riders pedal in to Port Hedland; Lesa Ashford, Michelle Jelleff, Rob Wilson, Kerryn Harvey and Renee Brogan. Credit: Shannon Beattie

Port Hedland was stop number 25 for the START Foundation cyclists who are riding 3135km from Perth to Broome to raise funds for amputees.

START is a not-for-profit organisation that empowers amputees in life through sport by providing grants for a new limb, limb modification or equipment modification.

Nineteen cyclists took part in the 28-day journey to raise funds to help the foundation give out grants. A basic running blade costs $15,000.

The foundation was started by Kerryn Harvey and Michelle Jellef after Ms Harvey lost her right arm and shoulder to a flesh-eating bacteria 51/2 years ago.

She said that after she became an amputee, one of the critical things for her getting back into life was to get fit again because she had always been an active person.

“Once I learnt to ride, run and swim again, it gave me a lot of confidence to get on with the rest of my life and now I’m a member of the Australian elite para-triathlon team,” she said.

Ms Harvey said that 99 per cent of the money they raise went straight to the grants, which ultimately ended up changing someone’s life.

“Obviously what we’re doing is to help people participate in sport, but that spills over into every aspect of someone’s life,” she said.

First grant recipient Liam Twomey lost his leg when he was seven. He failed to deal with becoming an amputee and spiralled into drug and alcohol abuse in his teen years.

“He applied for a grant through the foundation and was given a prosthetic he could run on,” Ms Harvey said.

“Now he is competing as a para-triathlete and believes he’s alive today because of the grant he received.”

The charity is hoping to raise $50,000 and is at just over half that amount.

It is encouraging people to donate by heading to startfoundation.org.au.

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