1st Mar, 2021

Crash victim prepares for gruelling 79-mile challenge in one day

A CRASH victim who suffered two broken legs is aiming to run 79 miles in one day to help a struggling Warwickshire animal sanctuary.

Sanctuary supporter and life coach Jean-Pierre De Villiers is taking on on the equivalent of three marathons in under 24 hours to raise much-needed funds for the Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS) in Wolverton, which is home to over 450 animals.

This is the second mammoth mission the supporter has taken on since he was hit by a car while on a 1,000-mile charity ride in 2019. Jean-Pierre, who also goes by JP, suffered two shattered legs, a fractured arm, punctured lung and internal injuries, and spent 15 days in intensive care.

And not only did JP make a successful recovery, just over a year later, he took on Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

As an animal lover and vegan, JP had been looking to support an animal sanctuary for some time and recently joined the FARS team before committing to his latest challenge.

He said: “After my accident. I wanted to do more to spread the message of love and kindness towards animals and I decided to support my local sanctuary which looks after more than 450 farm animals. It costs £1,500 per week to keep the sanctuary going.

“I am going to put myself through a lot of suffering and I am going to reach the 79 miles mark. Never mind having both of my legs broken. Even before my accident, I have never run such distance in my life. If I can’t run it, I will walk it. If I can’t walk it, I will crawl it. But I am going to do it!”

The donations will be a welcome boost for the sanctuary which has faced much hardship over the last two years. The financial toll of the pandemic is just the latest in a string of blows to hit the charity, including a damaged roof, food shortages and broken equipment. Founder 76-year-old Carole Webb was also hospitalised for two weeks with covid, though has since made a successful recovery.

Funds generated from JP’s challenge will go to the sanctuary’s current appeal to fund hay and feed, and general animal care costs.

Team member Lenka Sobotkova said she has been blown away by recent support from the community.

She added: “We have been overwhelmed by the amount of kindness, generosity and wonderful comments from the public.

“Since the launch of our fund-raiser, to date, we have raised £6,245 from 170 supporters. This amount has secured hay and feed for Carole’s animals for four weeks.

“With just over 20 days to go we are hoping to achieve our stretch target of £10,000. The additional sum would be put towards more feed for a further three weeks.”

Visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/emergency-covid-19-hay-and-feed-appeal to donate to the sanctuary and to support JP in his quest.

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