A group of intrepid cyclists are to take on a gruelling coast to coast, 160-mile bike challenge in support of a colleague, who is hoping to access pioneering technology to be able to walk again.
Henderson Insurance Brokers (HIBL), which has offices throughout the UK, including three in the North East, has assembled a team made up of directors and friends of the firm, to complete the ride from Whitehaven to Sunderland between June 5 and 7.
All funds raised from the challenge will be donated to Henderson’s employee Emily Storer, who was involved in a serious car accident five years ago and suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralysed from the chest down.
Jonathan Willett, director of HIBL Stockton, will be taking part in the challenge, along with the firm’s CEO Joe Henderson, employee Michael Wright, client Chris Halmshaw and Rob Worrell, a friend of the firm.
The team is hoping to raise £65,000 for Emily to benefit from a ‘ReWalk exoskeleton’ – a robotic device that will allow her to stand and walk again, having previously used the equipment during a test session earlier in the year.
Emily said: “I can honestly say using the exoskeleton was the most incredible experience.
“My friends and family who saw me in it just said the smile on my face ‘said it all’! The benefits you gain from using it are huge, both mentally and physically. The only thing holding me back from having one of these devices is the cost.”
Mr Henderson added: “This device, without a doubt, will change Emily’s life. I think most will agree that her story highlights that your life can change overnight but through all of the adversity, Emily has had a positive attitude throughout.”