Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled

Jan’s Triathlon                           "Walk a Mile in MY Shoes"

She did it! Jan completed her astonishing triathlon in 6 hours, 20 minutes and 27 seconds! 

 

On a splendid couple of days, the sun shone, and several people came out to support Jan. They included JSAD marathon runners and buddies, who used it as a training session for the forthcoming Jersey Marathon, and the Jersey Wheelers, who stayed with our heroine as she finished the cycling leg.

 

And she finished her demanding schedule still with her great smile on her face.

 

"It was the best two days ever," said Jan. "A brilliant experience, despite finding out AFTER the event that I did it all with a fractured leg!!"

 

Her individual times:

Swimming: 01:05:54

Cycling:      00:11:35

Walking:     05:02:58

 

More details and photos to follow, but do take time to read Jan's amazing story below.

 

 

As a fundraising challenge, there surely has never been anything like Janet Tuck’s Triathlon on September the 2nd and 3rd

 

So what, you may ask, is so special about swimming a mile, cycling a mile, and walking a mile?

 

It’s special, oh so special, because Jan is paraplegic.  After suffering a rare and progressive inflammatory disorder that attacks the central nervous system, Jan lost the use of her legs in 2011, at the age of 50.

 

Despite an ordeal lasting over a decade, and of course, a completely changed life, Jan has steadfastly refused to give in to her condition.

 

With help and encouragement, particularly from hubby Brian, from Phil, of Jersey Cheshire Home, and from her employers Standard Bank, she has shown immense courage and determination to live as normal a life as possible. (Jan’s full story can be found below.)

Now Jan wants to show her gratitude by raising funds for Jersey Cheshire Home and Jersey Cancer Research (sadly her mum passed away suddenly from Cancer) and this is how she, with your help, is going to achieve it.
 

Her gruelling five to six hour challenge will see Jan not only swim and cycle a mile apiece, but walk a mile in her Parapodium. This amazing piece of equipment means that Jan, by leaning from side to side, using her core strength and pulling with her arms on the hand grips, can safely walk forward, backward and even turn on flat surfaces.

 

You can see first-hand Jan’s determination in this video of her first training session in the Parapodium at the FB Fields.

Amazing, yes?

 

So, let’s all help Jan to her goal to raise over £10,000 for Jersey Cheshire Home and Jersey Cancer Research.

 

She is already on her way having received an extremely generous pound for pound matching donation of £2,000 from her employer Standard Bank, but Jan is now actively appealing for public donations to help stimulate her to complete this challenge and help meet her target.

Donations to Jan’s challenge can be made  here.

 

You are invited to cheer Jan on at the FB Fields on Saturday 3rd September, and you can even "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" - taking actual part in the challenge with Jan by walking sections of her mile in a Parapodium, and getting your family, friends and colleagues to sponsor their efforts.

 

To find out more about the event and how you can get involved, you can contact Sarah at Jersey Cheshire Home on (01534) 285858 ext.5, or go to www.jerseycheshirehome.je/events.

JAN’S STORY
 

Back in 2007 Jan was diagnosed with Arachnoiditis. For 10 years the condition has put Jan through a huge ordeal.

Not only has she had to cope with lengthy bouts of severe of pain and unanswered questions whilst doctors tried to identify her condition, but has also faced a great deal of uncertainty, following the five spinal operations she has endured.

 

However, despite the dark times she has refused to give up and continues to battle to improve her quality of life through exercise - never letting her paralysis get in the way.

 

Just six months after the last operation to try (unsuccessfully) to regain movement in her legs, Jan lost her mum suddenly to cancer, yet another shattering blow but one she battled through with the loving support of her family. 

Jan and Brian Tuck Jan and Brian Tuck

To try and maintain a level of normality, Jan insisted she would continue to go to work full time and five years on, she has rarely missed a day in the office! Her employers at Standard Bank have been tremendously supportive throughout.

 

“I feel normal and challenged working at my desk,” said Jan. “The support from both my colleagues and management at Standard Bank has enabled me to recover my self-esteem and worth.”

 

Since her illness, life of course has changed considerably for both Jan and her husband Brian. Over a period of time they have adapted their home to cope with the day to day challenges and are now enjoying life to the full with an active social life, and even travelling is back on the agenda!

 

Brian and Jan have been married since 1998 and he is an extremely dedicated and supportive husband. He explains: “Jan never ceases to amaze me in her outlook on life and I love her unconditionally!”

Jan has been coming to Jersey Cheshire Home every week for the last few years, to swim in the pool and use the gym equipment to help aid her mobility.

 

Phil Curtis, a member of the physio team at JCH, works with Jan to build her core strength.

 

“He has been fantastically supportive to me” enthused Jan. “Phil and Brian play good cop bad cop every week, pushing me to achieve pretty much anything I (they) set my mind to!” 

 

She added: “Jersey Cheshire Home is a fantastic facility for those dealing with challenges of varying degrees of disability.  I swim here every week and love my training sessions in the gym – their facilities are great.”

 

But Jan says it’s much more than just that. “The staff and residents inspire me, it's such a happy environment, you can hear laughter ringing through the hallways on every visit, a number of them going out of their way to shout words of encouragement as I ‘walk’ down the hallways in my Parapodium.”

The Dynamic Parapodium is the device that has given Jan back an element of freedom by enabling her to walk, and providing the opportunity for rehabilitation in an upright position.

 

It is designed for people with lower extremity paralysis, infantile cerebral palsy or Spina bifida, and is also used by MS patients or those suffering with head injuries.

 

By leaning from side to side, using their core strength and pulling with their arms on the hand grips, wheelchair bound individuals can use the Parapodium to safely walk forward, backward and even turn on flat surfaces.

 

This specialized piece of equipment not only offers those with limited mobility the freedom to move, but also allows them to experience the sensation of walking and exercise at the same time. It can help to reduce muscle spasms, restore normalisation of cardiovascular and respiratory system problems, and prevent the disintegration of bone matter, providing the user with a gait sensation not found in static standers or wheeled walking aide devices.

 

The Dynamic Parapodium is part of a range of equipment available at Jersey Cheshire Home that enables those with disabilities (both resident and non-resident) to improve their mobility and core strength.

 

If you would like to get in touch with JCH about utilizing their facilities and specialist equipment then please contact the Physiotherapy team on (01534) 285858 ext. 3.

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