Royston physiotherapist takes on triathlon to raise money for charity set up for woman paralysed in accident
- Credit: Archant
A Royston physiotherapist has taken on a triathalon for the first time to raise money for a charity set up by the partner of a woman who was paralysed in a car accident in 2004.
Sarah King took on the Ironman UK challenge in Bolton for the Rooprai Spinal Trust, founded after Marrianne Rooprai from Royston was paralysed from the shoulders down aged 27.
The volunteer-run charity sponsors individuals paralysed by a spinal cord injury to receive expert physiotherapy at the award-winning Prime Physio centre in Melbourn, where Sarah works.
Marianne’s partner Andy, who founded the charity with his sister Sharon Hart, said: “Sarah is an integral part of Marrianne’s rehab and has witnessed first-hand the positive impact our physio scholarship program – and Marrianne herself – has had on many.
“We now sponsor a number of spinal cord injury clients, who would otherwise not have the resources to attend and who have taken heart from the progress Marrianne has made.
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“Activity-based physiotherapy has helped Marrianne make great progress – so much so that she is recognised as one of the leading recovery advocates in the UK.
“She now has arm movement and can feed herself with specially-adapted equipment. It’s a slow process after years of hard work and determination.
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“It’s not about miracles or false hope – it’s about opportunity, progress and wellbeing.”
Sarah, 29, said: “In 2015 I was honoured to raise funds for the Rooprai Spinal Trust by running the London Marathon.
“The guys from RST were so motivating and supportive to me as a fundraiser, I couldn’t wait to get into my next challenge.
“Once again, they were right there on the day, cheering me on and making this incredible experience a memory that will last forever.”
Sarah raised around £2,000 and completed last Sunday’s 2.4-mile open water swim, 112-mile cycle ride, and full marathon in 14 hours and 24 mins, and had a particularly impressive debut swimming leg – coming out the water in one hour and seven minutes.
Marrianne said: “Sarah has been an integral part of my rehab team for years and is someone I consider a good friend. Watching Sarah finish the Ironman wearing our vest, not only filled me with pride but it made me sob like a baby. What a star, what an achievement, what an emotional day.”