A father-of-three who is fighting Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is defying the illness by challenging himself to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks to raise money for LOROS
David Needham, 46, who is a full-time wheelchair user, will be pushing himself to the limits as he takes on the highest three peaks in the Yorkshire Dales, this August in a specially adapted Mountain Trike.
The challenge comes three years after David was officially diagnosed with MND, a condition that invariably damages the nervous system and often leads to muscle weakness.
“The way I looked at it when I was diagnosed was, I have two choices, I can either give up or carry on and I never had any intention of giving up,” said David, of Cold Newton, in the Harborough district.
“I wanted to take on a challenge, while helping others who are in a similar position to me.”
David, who has three young children, aged three, five and six, first noticed there was something wrong when he attempted to jog across a zebra crossing and found his body would not let him.
After doctors confirmed he had MND, David said he lost a huge part of his independence and heavily relied on his wife Kate.
Despite having a huge passion for sport, David had given up all sports several years before being diagnosed with MND, due to injury, injuries that he says in hindsight were probably signs of him having the illness.
“I’ve always been sports mad, I love the element of competition,” said David, who attends both the MND Clinic at LOROS and has complementary therapy at the Hospice.
“Last year, I was finding it really hard to breathe and at times I was gasping for air. That was a kick up the bum for me, it flicked a mental switch in my head; I didn’t like the idea of not being around.
“I decided to alter my diet and started going to the gym.
“I decided that MND was not going to dictate me, I was going to dictate it.”
David’s change in lifestyle saw him join the Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby Club and purchase a Mountain Trike.
“I’m really looking forward the challenge; once I’ve set my mind to something, I will go ahead and do it,” he added.
David will be raising funds for LOROS and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, both of which organisations have supported him since he was diagnosed.
To sponsor David, who is hoping to raise £10,000 from his climb, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/ Ned70