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Australian woman with cerebral palsy marathons WHEELCHAIR

There aren’t many people in the world who can say that they have completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days but one Sydney woman has done just that. 

Earlier this month, Johanna Garvin, 26, became the first to complete the task while in a wheelchair.

‘I will be the first Australian to attempt the World Marathon Challenge in a wheelchair, covering 295km over the seven days,’ she wrote on Facebook in October last year.  

 

Johanna Garvin, 26, became the first to complete seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, all while in a wheelchair (pictured)

The World Marathon Challenge is an extreme, physical and logistical challenge that saw 51 athletes from around the world enter what could be easily called the toughest collection of endurance races on Earth.

‘Cant quite believe that yesterday happened, but it did, we finished The World Marathon Challenge!’ Johanna later wrote on the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s fundraisers page.

‘I think it will take a while to sink in. Thank you so much to Steve Birnie and James for giving me this incredible opportunity. I have had such a fantastic time.

‘I have learnt so much from the two of you, like [how] doing a marathon is incredibly challenging and takes a lot of preparation and you are really going to be out of your comfort which is great because while you may really hate it at the time, you learn new skills and realise what you are really capable of.’

'I will be the first Australian to attempt the World Marathon Challenge in a wheelchair, covering 295km over the seven days,' she wrote on Facebook

‘I will be the first Australian to attempt the World Marathon Challenge in a wheelchair, covering 295km over the seven days,’ she wrote on Facebook

The World Marathon Challenge is an extreme, physical and logistical challenge that saw 51 athletes from around the world enter the toughest endurance races on earth

The World Marathon Challenge is an extreme, physical and logistical challenge that saw 51 athletes from around the world enter the toughest endurance races on earth

Johanna was born 11 weeks prematurely, and when she was only three days old she suffered a severe lung hemorrhage and a stroke.

This lead to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy at the age of one which resulted in her needing to use a wheelchair. 

Through sheer determination and help from those who rallied behind her, she was able to be the first person to complete the World Marathon Challenge while in one. 

Johanna was born 11 weeks prematurely, and when she was only three days old she suffered a severe lung hemorrhage and a stroke

Johanna was born 11 weeks prematurely, and when she was only three days old she suffered a severe lung hemorrhage and a stroke

Johanna was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one which resulted in her needing to use a wheelchair

Johanna was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one which resulted in her needing to use a wheelchair

Johanna said that it was the cheers from loved ones that helped her when she was feeling like she was out of her comfort zone and the journey was tough.

She was helped by two Australians with extensive endurance experience, James Alderson and Steve Birnie who took it in turns to push Johanna in the customised wheelchair.

The trio took an average of four to five hours to complete each of the seven marathons and travelling with the rest of the group was not easy, as transit through customs was always a challenge.   

Johanna said that it was the cheers from loved ones that helped her when she was feeling like she was out of her comfort zone

Johanna said that it was the cheers from loved ones that helped her when she was feeling like she was out of her comfort zone

The trio took on average of four to five hours to complete each of the seven marathons

The trio took on average of four to five hours to complete each of the seven marathons

Even though Johanna was being pushed by her comrades, she helped them out with logistics, especially during the four marathons that were at night, looking out for things that may obstruct their journey. 

To help with the task Johanna had an aerodynamic chair, which cost about $50,000.

The device had one wheel at the front and two wheels at the back and six different sets of wheels, specifically engineered for the various terrains and climates that they would encounter.  

Even though Johanna was being pushed by her comrades, she helped them out with logistics, especially during the four marathons that were at night

Even though Johanna was being pushed by her comrades, she helped them out with logistics, especially during the four marathons that were at night

‘Thank you so much to all the people who have donated to our page thanks to your incredible generosity we have raised $62,071.81 which is just incredible,’ Johanna wrote on the fundraiser page.

‘I can’t tell you what a difference this will make to the lives of young people living with cerebral palsy and I really mean that cos [sic] I know from first-hand experience what a difference mobility equipment can make to someone’s life.

‘Thank you so much to all my wonderful friends and family for all your love support and encouragement and for believing in me and for donating to our page and for all you did to help me fundraise.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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