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First complete paraplegic to tackle Land’s End to John O’Groats

Paraplegic Peter Smorthit, 28, will take on the 970-mile challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) in March raising funds for assistance dog charity Dog A.I.D.  This is the first time a complete paraplegic has attempted the route, most specifically in an everyday wheelchair rather than a race chair.

Peter, from Hoxton in London, is a T10 complete paraplegic after the scaffolding he was working on at a building site collapsed when he was aged just 19.  He spent the next 7 months in hospital and was told he would never walk again. He’s also battled sepsis and since had 2 full on strokes.  Rather than let this define him, he has fought back and participated in over 150 half and full marathons, regularly plays wheelchair basketball and tennis – both challenging himself and raising vital funds for charity.

Peter has been actively raising funds for Dog A.I.D., a national charity who help people with disabilities to train their own pet dog to become a life-saving Assistance Dog.  He completed the LEJOG in 2007, when he was able bodied age 16, in 12 days and has now undertaken to complete it again as a paraplegic in his day chair in just 15-18 days, making him the first paraplegic man to achieve this goal.  He will be aiming to cover 50-60 miles per day which will mean 10-12 hours of pushing his chair, with only limited stops.Paraplegic Peter on his way from Land's End to John O'Groats

Peter comments, “I am always pushing the barriers and truly believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  I have met a number of Dog A.I.D. clients and can see how life changing these dogs are, especially as they enable independence for disabled people which certainly strikes a chord with me.  LEJOG will be a great achievement if I can pull it off and is one of a number of events I intend to take part in this year, including London to Paris on my handcycle and RideLondon 100.”

“I am continually inspired by Peter and his positive attitude,” comments Dog A.I.D. Chair Sandra Fraser.  “This is a serious undertaking, we wish Peter all the best and will be following his progress with interest.  As a charity that relies heavily on fundraising and donations, it is people like Peter who help us to continue to work with disabled people to facilitate their dog becoming a fully accredited Assistance Dog.”

Peter is planning to start his challenge on 10th March 2020, if you would like to donate to Peter’s efforts, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peter-smorthit-lejogwheelchairpushfordogaid

The support of the general public is vital for Dog A.I.D. to be able to continue offering help and support to people with disabilities; if you are able to contribute please call 01743 588469 or email admin@dogaid.org.uk