After 2 months of intense fundraising, it is my pleasure to announce I have reached my target. A big THANK YOU to the multitude of people who donated funds (little or large) towards the construction of a new cycling leg for Rio 2016.
The public crowdfunding appeal netted a significant portion of the funds. Due to a complicated fee structure with the crowdfunding site, I had to put in a significant portion of the funds myself before the campaign closed in order to avoid paying extra fees. (So the actual amount raised online is somewhat less than what you might see on the site!) But regardless of that, we still raised enough to move forward. Why? Well - because of two organisations.
As mentioned previously - Eastmond Medicomm has come on board as a key sponsor in the project and will be along for the ride, helping document the project as we move forward. If not for them, I wouldn't have even started raising funds in the first place. They were the first ones to step forward to put up seed money and gave me hope that I could raise the rest of the money through the public appeal.
The second group I must mention is Pace Rehabilitation. Pace have been there since the very start with me, building my previous cycling prosthetics. Pace have graciously agreed to build this new leg at a discounted rate, meaning I now have the complete budget needed to complete the project at the highest level. Along with technical and aerodynamic advisor, Dr. Bryce Dyer of Bournemouth University, I am confident we will make the best possible leg for Rio.
Pace are at the forefront of prosthetic design in the UK and are now on the cutting edge when it comes to the design and manufacture of sport-specific prosthetics. I started out with them in 2011 and have won two world titles using the legs they have made for me in the past. With the advancements they have made since, I have no doubt that the leg they make for me will propel me to the next level and help bring home that Rio medal I so desperately seek!
I have hated every single second of this fundraising campaign. Asking people, over and over to donate money is something I can't stand – especially for myself. I would much rather be out there raising money for a worthy charity! But it's done now, and so many of you stepped up to help fill the void. I will never have to ask you for help for something personal again!
So keep watching. The project is now just getting started. I've seen the prototype designs. And they are spectacular. Over the coming weeks and months, Pace will be testing several new designs to see which one provides the best aerodynamic benefit – then it will be time to build one for me. And Eastmond Medicomm will be helping keep you updated. And then.... well - the sky's the limit!