Kelly Ganfield and her family are taking part in the At Home Winter Wonderwheels challenge by completing a total distance of 200km over four weeks in order to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.
The 40-year-old blind veteran and Invictus Games medallist, along with her wife Sarah and daughter Bethany, have been completing the challenge together in their home during the lockdown period.
They are completing the 200km distance through different activities which they can do together as a family, such as walking and cycling.
The At Home Winter Wonderwheels challenge is one of the four annual events which form the Superhero Series. This Series is the UK’s only disability sports series and encourages people to complete a month-long challenge from their home, either on their own or with others.
“We did a similar challenge in the summer and we really enjoyed it. We wanted to challenge ourselves again during lockdown and raise as much money as possible for Blind Veterans UK as they have gone above and beyond for us and we can never forget all that they have done”.Sarah Ganfield
Kelly joined the Army in 1998 and worked for over 3 years on the staff of the second-in-command of a Battalion serving in Omagh, Northern Ireland. Kelly has a rare blood condition called antiphospholipid syndrome which caused two strokes, epilepsy and sight loss. Fortunately, she found Blind Veterans UK and started receiving support from the charity in 2005. Kelly competed in the 2017 & 2018 Invictus Games for Team GB.
Their five-year-old daughter Bethany was born five weeks premature and experienced a substantial bleed on the brain that has caused cerebral palsy right side hemiplegia. Sarah says: “We did not know whether Bethany would be able to walk. Bethany is amazing and so positive. She walks, runs and rides a trike and her motto is ‘there is no such word as can’t’”.
“I was medically discharged in 2005. Since I lost my Army career, Blind Veterans UK have been there since day one. They’ve been there when I’ve needed them the most. I’ve met so many inspirational members since joining the charity”.Kelly Ganfield, blind veteran
The family are regular visitors to our training and rehabilitation centre in Llandudno but unfortunately have not been able to visit since the beginning of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kelly says: “Bethany calls it her holiday home! Visiting there has helped us unwind as a family, whilst feeling fully supported and safe. We wanted to do this challenge to raise money but also to give the charity recognition for everything it does and for the families like ours that it helps”.
“It been great to do this as a family. We’ve incorporated the challenge into our everyday life by including the distance walked to school and Kelly and I have been using the equipment in our home gym which Blind Veterans UK has given us. Kelly is the best role model for Bethany, they encourage each other”.Sarah Ganfield