Leicester father battling MND becomes first ever person to complete Yorkshire Three Peaks in an all-terrain wheelchair

Published on 22nd September 2017

A father battling a nerve damaging terminal illness has defied all odds by becoming the first person to climb The Yorkshire Three Peaks in an all-terrain wheelchair.

David Needham, of Cold Newton, who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and is a patient at LOROS Hospice, completed the challenge in a specially made Mountain Trike in less than 24 hours.

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

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“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,” said David. “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 challenge took a total of 17-and-a-half-hours, finishing on Thursday 7th September.

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

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,” he said.

“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.”

LOROS CEO John, who has been involved in adventure challenges for more than 30 years, said that David’s challenge was the ‘most significant in terms of personal endeavour and character’ that he has ever been involved with.

“David is truly a most impressive individual and it was a real privilege to be part of his challenge,” John added.

“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 the 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.

If you would like to support David’s fundraising you can do so online at justgiving.com/ned70 or if you are feeling inspired by David and would like to take on a challenge yourself then visit loros.co.uk/challenges

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