03 NOV 2016

Sahara Desert Trek

MP bids good luck to Staplehurst resident ahead of unique Sahara Trek - by wheelchair

The MP for Maidstone and the Weald Helen Grant paid tribute to her Staplehurst constituent Luisa Pearce this week who is undertaking a challenging trek across the Sahara - the first person to attempt this in a wheelchair.

Ms Pearce was left paralysed after a medical complication and was told she would never walk again. Determined not to be confined by her disability, Luisa is currently undertaking a 100km 10 day trek across the Sahara desert to climb one of the highest sand dunes there.

Helen said: "I am truly in awe of Luisa's resilience and positivity. There is more to this challenge than raising funds for a good cause; it is about determination and perseverance. I am so proud of Luisa and I wish her and her team the best of luck in their challenge."

Helen first met Luisa back in March of this year to hear about her ambitious plans and pledge her support. Those plans became reality as Helen returned to the David Lloyd centre on Thursday November 3rd to bid farewell to Luisa and her team as they departed for the airport.

As she was setting off to the airport Luisa told Helen how she was feeling "I'm excited and apprehensive but there's no way we're not gonna do this. We're gonna smash it! I say disability is not inability".

Luisa is supported by a team including her physiotherapist Richard Kendall and staff from the David Lloyd Gym in Kings Hill, where she has been training. She aims to raise £50,000 for the charity Freedom For Wheels, which helps disabled people in Kent receive the support and equipment they need in order to help achieve or regain a better quality of life.

Read more about the challenge and view the team's itinerary here. Donations to the challenge can be made by clicking here.

Follow Luisa and the team's progress via the Freedom For Wheels Facebook Page or Twitter feed.

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