When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Liz Kennedy has returned from a 500km overseas bike ride in India. Not for the first time however! This is the 4th time that Liz, 63, who is a lecturer at Westminster Business School, has completed an overseas cycle ride challenge for LEPRA.
Liz sees being able to go on the ride is a celebration of her health and she used the promise of her first bike ride to India to get her through treatment for anal cancer, “Knowing I would be able to go was what got me through the chemo.”
A month before her second trip Liz underwent a hip replacement operation and now has a prosthetic hip. “I couldn’t walk around or sit on the floor” she remembers, “but I could peddle, so that is what I did!”
A highlight of the trip for Liz was the opportunity of actually being involved in diagnosing a case of leprosy, while sitting in a café. Recognising the ‘LEPRA’ on the groups bright orange T-shirts the owner asked them to examine lesions on the arms of a young man who worked in the kitchen.
“I know that stigma can be a great barrier to people coming forward for treatment. What was so sad was that this young man had obviously tried to hide signs of the disease. We suspected that damage to one of his’ fingers was caused by him self-harming, literally trying to cut it off to hide the signs.”
Together with a LEPRA health education van Liz and the other riders, varying in age from 21 to 67, travelled over 500km from Andhra Pradesh through the state of Orissa in India.
When was the last time you did something for the first time…
Liz is asking for people interested in taking part in next year’s bike ride to contact LEPRA’s events team by email or call Karen/Lizzie on 01206 216732.
Posted by admin 11:21 23.05.2011
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In 2009 I rode alone from Lands’ End in to John O’Groats to raise funds for LEPRA.
Cyclist for LEPRA