zishan Kinoo

Age: 20

home: Leyton, London

Profession: Student

Parallel challenge: 5k

 

"I have Muscular Dystrophy and four years ago I had spinal surgery to have metal plates put in my back. It was touch and go for a while and I took five months to recover. I said to myself that if I get through this I want to give something back.

"I watched the London Marathon from my hospital bed and thought that I’d love to fundraise at an event like that. But when I investigated further it was really hard to find something that was accessible for me and my electric wheelchair. Undeterred I decided to put on my own little event.

"I organised what I called ‘Move a Mile’ where I navigated the streets of London for nine miles with fifteen friends and family and I raised £450 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, which was so supportive after my surgery. It was a brilliant day and hope I sent out the message that if you have determination, nothing need be a barrier.

"When I heard about Parallel London I thought, ‘At last! A grand-scale challenge that’s for me!’ What I love is that it brings together both non-disabled and disabled participants. I also feel a personal tie as it’s in my local area. I watched the Olympic Park being built. 

“Sport has always been a big part of my life – watching it and doing it. Before the operation I loved to swim and cycle and I worked on gym machines. The doctors said that I was one of the fittest people with Muscular Dystrophy they’d ever seen. It meant that the impact of the operation wasn’t as severe as it could have been. I can still feed myself and retain some independence. I will be forever grateful that I kept active.”

Top tip: “Try not to let little things get you down. If one door closes, 10 others will open. There are lots of people out there willing to help, you just need to find them.”

My club: “I haven’t been able to swim since my operation, but I used to go to Greens in Chingford, which is very accessible. There’s a disabled bathroom and you can go straight from the changing room to the swimming pool and there’s a hoist by the pool. I’m hoping to get the sign-off from the doctors so I can go back soon!”

#Roadto: "showing people anything’s possible”

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If you would like to participate and raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK, click on their logo to find out more...