WHEN more than 2,000 youngsters step out to take part in tomorrow’s Ironkids race they will do so alongside one very special competitor.
Kayli English will be entering the event using a specially made race-running bike — the first person to do so in the history of Ironkids.
The 13-year-old, has reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a nerve disease which means she has to use elbow crutches to get around every day.
Kayli developed the RSD after falling ill with viral meningitis last year.
The severely disabling condition, which the youngster fights on a daily basis, has left her unable to walk, but she has not let it quell her desire to compete.
A special race-running bike, which Kayli, from Singelton Avenue, Horwich, has been using for six months, allows her to complete longer distances at a fast speed.
She recently won a specially adapted cycle event at the Horwich Festival of Racing.
Kayli has been working with Bolton Council’s disability sports development officer Jamie Agar and the Wheels For All cycling project in a bid to get her moving and help her confidence.
Kayli’s mum, Barbara English said she cannot wait to see her daughter race.
“The whole family is extremely excited to see Kayli in action. It is unbelievable to think about where she has come from — from not being able to sit up in bed to entering the Ironkids.
"When she first developed the condition she was very down, but the work she has been doing with Jamie has got her competitive streak back — there is no chance of her sitting around feeling sorry for herself now.”
Mr Agar said: “Kayli is the first person to take part in the Ironkids event using a running bike. It’s great that she is able to be involved and has come on a long way since first attending our adapted cycle sessions. Her enthusiasm and commitment is unbelievable.”
Kayli is raising funds for Wheels For All project. To donate visit justgiving.com/Barbara-English/ or text KLEE59 and an amount to 70070.