Briton in wheelchair sets out for a 5,000-mile journey to raise fund for CRP
Peter Donnelly, a spirited 24-year-old from St Helens in Liverpool, who is paralysed from the neck down, started rolling back towards his hometown in his wheelchair yesterday.
Donnelly, a volunteer for the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP), will travel across 14 countries in two continents to raise funds for the organisation.
His 5,000-mile journey began at the National Monument in Savar, where the organisation is headquartered.
Four years ago, just days before his 20th birthday, Donnelly suffered a critical spinal injury in a motorbike accident and lost ability to walk.
The Briton will make his journey by bus and train across India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France before he reaches the UK.
“I’m doing this for two reasons: Raising funds for the CRP, which does an amazing job providing treatment and rehabilitation for people with disabilities,” Donnelly said.
“Secondly, I’m doing it to raise awareness of what can be achieved when using a wheelchair and how everything in your path might not be perfect but it is still possible. It is also for telling people not to give up hope and that anything is possible,” he added.
During his journey, Donnelly will visit spinal cord rehabilitation centres across Asia and Europe; meet other people with similar injuries; and promote the message that one’s disability should not deter one from achieving his/her goals.
The money raised will help people with spinal injuries to live as independently as possible by providing them with rehabilitation, mobility aids, education about their injury and employment opportunities so they can support themselves and also for the development of a new CRP branch in Moulvibazar, he explains.
“I am so pleased that a young man like Peter is going to prove the ability of so-called disabled person to raise awareness about road accidents, disability and to raise funds for a good cause”, said Valerie A Taylor, founder and coordinator of CRP, at the ceremony.
Lawmaker Tarana Halim said, “I am amazed at this enormous effort. Not only will it raise awareness about road accidents, but also will change the society’s attitude towards people with disabilities.”
Donations can be made online through Donnelly’s blog http:// www. justgiving.com/rollingbackhome. Constant updates of his journey can be followed on Twitter and his blog Rolling Back Home.