In­spi­ra­tional cy­clist

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BAIN

The MDANZ is a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion and sup­port to peo­ple af­fected by neu­ro­mus­cu­lar con­di­tions.

It has four re­gional branches sup­ported by the na­tional of­fice in Auck­land.

It also funds re­search and helps to link Ki­wis with clin­i­cal tri­als here and over­seas.

NEU­RO­MUS­CU­LAR CON­DI­TIONS

Neu­ro­mus­cu­lar is a term that de­scribes a va­ri­ety of pro­gres­sive mus­cle dis­or­ders, many of which are ge­netic and im­pact fam­i­lies.

Symp­toms can ap­pear af­ter birth or much later in life.

They can be un­pre­dictable, there are few treat­ments, can­not be cured.

To find out more, go to mda.org.nz

WATCH THE VIDEO

A Cam­bridge teen will put his body on the line us­ing pedal power to help oth­ers like him liv­ing with Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy.

Nic Brock­el­bank is just 133cm tall and weighs 33kgs but is one of the most in­spi­ra­tional teenagers you will ever meet.

The 15-year-old Cam­bridge boy has lived over two thirds of his life in a wheel­chair.

He suf­fers from Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy but soon will swap his wheel­chair for a track bike, for an hour long cy­cle around the Avan­tidrome.

He hopes the ride will raise $10,000 for New Zealand Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy As­so­ci­a­tion and raise aware­ness of the dis­ease he’s been deal­ing with since birth.

The as­so­ci­a­tion wants to estab­lish a trust fund to help other young peo­ple with mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy.

Nic’s abil­ity to in­spire oth­ers was ac­knowl­edged in 2015 when he was named Ju­nior Achiever of the Year at the na­tional At­ti­tude Awards.

His at­ti­tude has been far reach­ing and has im­pacted on New Zealand Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Ronelle Baker.

‘‘Nic’s at­ti­tude in­spires me. He pushes through bar­ri­ers with his men­tal abil­ity to adapt to pain and fa­tigue,’’ said Baker.

Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy af­fects the body’s mus­cu­lar sys­tem.

Suf­fer­ers lose strength in their mus­cles as they get older.

Some have to learn how to use a wheel­chair to move around.

‘‘Nic has never been one to give up and ac­cept his dis­abil­ity,’’ said his mum Chrissie.

‘‘He wanted to give cy­cling a go and con­vinced us he was up to it.’’

He suc­cess­fully, ‘‘af­ter a few mishaps,’’ tried cy­cling on a sta­tion­ary wind trainer and with the as­sis­tance of cy­cling coach Mike Bland hasn’t looked back.

‘‘I be­lieve the cy­cling has re­ally helped me to get out of my wheel­chair,’’ said Nic.

His goal is to cy­cle as many laps of the Avan­tidrome in Cam­bridge he can within an hour.

Nic’s drive has im­pressed Avan­tidrome events and pro­gramme man­ager Mark Lu­cas.

‘‘We have pro­vided Nic with free track time for train­ing and The Avanti Bike Shop has set him up with a suit­able bike, and cy­cling kit,’’ said Lu­cas.

Teen Nic Brock­el­bank trains for his fundrais­ing ride at the Cam­bridge Avan­tidrome on March 23.

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