Amputee saved from homelessness pledges to support YMCA with Olympic Stadium ride
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 August 2013
SIX months ago, Kevin Brennan was at his lowest ebb.
The 50-year-old, who had recently had the bottom of his left leg amputated, arrived at the YMCA hostel in WGC after he was made homeless.
Since then, he has been fitted with a state-of-the art prosthetic leg, and plans to start cycling for the first time since his childhood.
Kevin, who currently lives at the Peartree Lane hostel, aims to complete a gruelling 80km bike ride – which will finish with a lap of the Olympic Stadium in London – to raise cash for the YMCA and Help For Heroes.
But he has one obstacle still to overcome – he does not have a bike, and is hoping a donor can come forward.
He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Circumstances changed in my life. I came to the YMCA homeless and they’ve given me great support.
“I personally feel I’ve got to give something back to them.”
Kevin, who used to manage a Panshanger FC junior team, had harboured dreams of becoming a footballer as a youngster, before a hit-and-run crash more than 30 years ago left him struggling to walk.
He had part of his foot amputated in 1984, but it was not until 18 months ago that he had his lower leg removed.
And eight weeks ago, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital.
“It was a big trauma,” he recalled.
“But I just dealt with it in my own little way, and I was determined not to feel sorry for myself.
“I want to just carry on.”
Kevin said last summer’s Paralympic Games had inspired him to take up sport, and he decided to take on the challenge.
Explaining his decision to fundraise for the YMCA, he said: “It’s very important, it’s a starting block for me here.
“It’s somewhere to sleep, you’ve got all the support you need here, they’re great.
“You need these places around.”
He had initially planned to do “a couple of laps” around Stanborough Lakes, but as his fitness improved, so did his ambition.
His route will incorporate YMCA sites across Hertfordshire, White Hart Lane – where his beloved Tottenham Hotspur play – and the Olympic Stadium.
He hopes to set off in early October.
n To sponsor Kevin, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KevinBrennan80km
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