Wheelchair Man Starts 400k Sth Island Cycle


David Millar | justgiving.com/themightypush

A man who ended up in a wheelchair after a rugby injury in Hawke’s Bay 20 years ago is about to start a 10 day charity fund raising cycling around the South Island.

He is raising money for research into finding a way to treat such injuries.

Scotsman David Millar’s 400k cycle is in three stages.

He starts in Christchurch, then going to Geraldine, alongside the Lake Tekapo canal system, and finishing  with the Otago Rail Trail.

In the rugby incident, he fell awkwardly and suffered a spinal cord injury. He spent four months in the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch.

David’s injury initially resulted in a few months of complete paralysis below the neck but over the next two years, he experienced some very gradual and limited recovery.

He is, however, still a permanent wheelchair user.

Here is a video of David training for the trip:

Since his return to the UK, David has completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Newcastle University) and an MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology (Glasgow University) and believes more money should be put into finding treatment for such injuries.

David says a number of treatments are on the verge of moving from the laboratory to clinical trials and as such “are close to achieving one of the holy grails of medical science – repair of the spinal cord.

“Unfortunately research into spinal cord injuries is not a government priority and is not attractive to the large pharmaceutical companies. That leaves it up to charity and the support of people who have been touched in some way by such injuries.”

You can support his trek here




  1. Gail Ross says:

    Hi David,

    What an awesome challenge and well done for taking it on! I am the GM of the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund which is a non profit organisation that assists catastrophically injured rugby players in South Africa. We have 102 quads that we call our recipients all whom have sustained their in jury from rugby over the past 35 yeras. We assist them in different ways but primarily to provide them with mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, cushions, matresses, beds etc. As an able bodied person I am constantly inspired by these brave young men who really do go out there and make a life for themselves as you clearly have done so too. If you are ever in Cape Town please do look us up. We have a disabled friendly rugby suite at the famous Newlands stadium and you would be most welcome as our guest. We also have an annual cycle race in Cape Town called the Pick and Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour. I cycle it every year and there are about 20 hand cyclists that also participate in this gruelling 109km race. It took place last month and we had to battle against very strong south easters winds which slowed us all down considerably. All the best for your cycle challenge and please let us know how you are doing from time to time. Kind regards Gail Ross


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