Terminally-ill Leicestershire dad completes Yorkshire Three Peaks in all terrain wheel chair

Published on 26th September 2017

David Needham hitting new heights in Yorkshire

By Leicester Mercury | Posted 23 September, 2017

A terminally-ill dad from Leicestershire has become the first person to climb The Yorkshire Three Peaks in an all-terrain wheelchair.

David Needham suffers from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) but completed the challenge in a specially made Mountain Trike in less than 24 hours.

The 46-year-old, a LOROS patient, was joined by the Hospice’s chief executive officer John Knight, who was part of a six-strong team of friends and volunteers who made David’s challenge possible.

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David said: “I still recall the ‘are you mad?’ look that I got back in March when I first suggested attempting the challenge in my mountain trike.

“It wasn’t until the day before when I was driving through the valleys looking up at the peaks that the enormity of the undertaking was brought swiftly into focus.”

The 24-mile challenge, including climbs of nearly 1,600 metres, took a total of 17-and-a-half-hours.

David added: “To be brutally honest, I was just focussed on getting to the top and thinking this isn’t going to beat me.”

David was officially diagnosed with MND, a condition that invariably damages the nervous system and often leads to muscle weakness, three years ago.

“When I was diagnosed, I knew I had a choice, I could either sit down and let this happen or I could fight it.

“I’m lucky that I’ve always had that fighting spirit in me.”

David said that he could not have completed the challenge without help from the team who assisted him across the peaks.

“Without those guys, it would not have been possible and I will be forever grateful to them.”

Mr Knight said David’s challenge was the ‘most significant in terms of personal endeavour and character that he has ever been involved with.’

He said: “David is truly a most impressive individual and it was a real privilege to be part of his challenge.

“To witness his amazing determination to complete it, while pressing against the elements, against fatigue and the increasingly challenging mountain footpaths is something I will never forget.”

The challenge was only made possible through use of a British-made all-terrain wheelchair.

Tim Morgan, Managing Director and Inventor of the Mountain Trike said, “The Mountain Trike performed amazingly well over some pretty extreme terrain and I would like to congratulate David and his team for such a fantastic achievement in completing such a tough challenge.”

Having received support from both LOROS Hospice and the MNDA David has now raised more than £2,000 for the charities.

To support David’s fundraising visit justgiving.com/ned70 or visit loros.co.uk/challenges

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