Mutare woman fundraises for SA triathlete

MUTARE - Tammy la Grange continued with her quest to run 2014km to fundraise for paralysed South African triathlete Richard Holland when she ran the Old Mutual Vumba Haf Marathon on Saturday.

With the miles clocked during the weekend event, the Mutare resident la Grange is now on 1 724km and is only 290km shy of her target.

Holland, who represented South Africa at the 2007 World Championships in Germany, suffered life threatening injuries when a car hit him from behind while he was training in Dubai two years ago.

The 32-year-old suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs, a broken leg and a broken brain stem. This brain injury left Holland in a medical state called Locked-in-Syndrome.

This is a complete paralysis state in which Holland cannot move or communicate verbally.

Holland’s family and friends then started a campaign called “Back On Your Bike” to help with his medical rehabilitation and other related expenses.

La Grange is doing her part to help the stricken Holland and hopes one day he can overcome this setback.

“I’m going to complete all remaining 290km by the first week of December,” la Grange said soon after completing the Old Mutual Vumba Half Marathon on Saturday.

With an orange mask and a matching racing outfit, the 30-year-old Mutare resident said this was Holland’s favourite colour.

To brighten the race and invite attention to her cause la Grange’s family and friends were also donning similar outfits.

La Grange said she was obliged to help Holland regardless of the nationality because a similar accident could happen to anyone.

“Any athlete can be run in while training on the road,” she said.

She has set up a Facebook page – Running 2014 kms in 2014 – where well-wishers can get in touch with her to offer their support.

Although the medical outlook of having Holland overcome this condition, la Grange like the rest of people behind the Back On Your Bike campaign still have faith in a positive outcome.

“He has already been bed-ridden for two years but he can improve. He is still young – only 32 and we are just hoping that he gets better,” said la Grange.

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