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Team GB ParaClimbing

Martin Heald

  • 1.90% funded
  • £ 95.00 pledged
  • Days Left

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Age: 24

Location: Preston, Lancashire

This year, I have become a successful member of the Team GB paraclimbing team, and I am lucky enough to travel to various places with the team in order to compete in competitions against teams from across the world. However, these journeys are small in comparison to my life journey so far.

When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with cancer, Neuroblastoma Stage 4, and given 15% chance of survival. Throughout the rigorous treatment, I never stopped smiling and went into school to join my reception classmates as often as I could. After a year of chemotherapy and operations, I was placed in remission and lived a very happy childhood, finding a love for in-line skating in my teenage years.

I was 15 when I started feeling pain in my knee, which was later diagnosed as Osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, which is completely unrelated to the previous cancer I fought as a child. It was at this time, I was given a choice, a reconstruction of my knee and leg which would mean I would not be able to play sport, or an amputation, which would take me down a completely different path. I chose to have my leg amputated, and once my treatment had been completed, I began to search for possible sporting opportunities.

It was on a routine visit to the Limb Centre in Preston, that I saw a poster for Amputee Football, which I went to watch, and later became a part of the England/Great Britain team. This allowed me to bond with individuals who had all faced trauma, accidents or illnesses, who were also amputees. It also helped me to build up my strength, stamina, fitness and most importantly confidence, as I played in international matches and national leagues.

After my treatment, I returned to school, completing my GCSE’s and A levels before securing myself an apprenticeship at Lancashire Sport. It was here that a colleague introduced me to bouldering at the local climbing wall. It was the beginning of a love for the sport that has grown, as has my ability and strength. As I became more comfortable and improved on the bouldering walls, I began to climb top rope and lead, and was soon entering into competitions, I competed in the BMC national paraclimbing series for two series, securing 2nd in Britain most recently. It was from this, I was picked for the Great Britain paraclimbing team earlier this year.

As the level of competition is so high, my training schedule has to be rigorous and expenses such as travel and equipment can become expensive. Therefore, I write this crowdfunding pitch to ask for your support to cover training expenses in order for me to continue competing at the highest level in a sport that I love.

I thank you for taking the time to read my story, if you like to carry on following my story please find me on Twitter or Facebook

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