Just 2 days before his 21st birthday, Justin Levene coughed and ended up with a herniated and prolapsed disc. Several failed operations down the line, he was told he would never walk again and has been in a wheelchair ever since.
Literally floored by this unbelievable quirk of fate Justin took some time to come to terms with it. By confronting the trauma, however, he developed a profound new outlook on life and now uses the event as a catalyst to help both himself and others. He is currently an ambassador for several charities and works tirelessly to see fair treatment for everyone: educating others and mentoring newly injured patients and soldiers, ensuring that everyone can have the skills needed to live successful and independent lives. Earlier this year, he became our ambassador in Moldova to support vulnerable children and adults who rarely get the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities and sports.
Sport had always been a key feature of Justin's life; and so it became both his lifeline and his career. In the last 10 years he has turned his life around, first through wheelchair basketball and then wheelchair racing. He is now a serious contender for the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 but urgently needs financial support to get him back on track.
Why? Well, to add insult to injury, while training for the Rio Paralympics in 2016, as part of Team GB, Justin was knocked down by a taxi in London. In that one accident, he lost his wheelchair, his sponsorship and his chance of a medal. Undeterred, he continues to train (at least 6 hours a day whatever the weather) but he also spends a large amount of time (unpaid) supporting vulnerable children and associated charities.
First and foremost, Justin needs a racing wheelchair so he can compete, meaningfully, in the 2019 series of international marathons. This is a key requirement for selection to Team GB.
Justin needs the chair NOW so he can begin training in earnest, from early next year; and since it takes several months to order the bespoke chair, the sooner we can place the order, the better.
If you are able to help in any way please make a Christmas donation to the crowdfunding site. We shall be running a series of fund raising activities in the New Year too (including a 30km run round Dracula’s castle in Transylvania), so please stay in touch. If you leave your contact details on the website we can let you know when events are taking place in your area.