Mark Whittington was an extreme sportsman. He had seen and done more at the age of 38 than many people do in their whole lives! Nothing stopped Mark from challenging himself and enjoying life. From climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, completing 17 Dusi Canoe Marathons, multiple Ironman’s, countless Midmars, mountain bike racing, cycling, comrades and last but certainly not least competing in National MX Racing. As you can seehe has had a love and natural talent for sports literally his entire life.
While living this exhilarating lifestyle, a horrific tragedy unfolded on the 17th of March 2018. Whilst competing at a National MX event, Mark crashed in the very first corner of Heat 2. He was instantly paralyzed when a fellow competitor accidentally rode over his neck, breaking his C6 vertebrae after Mark’s wheel clipped another bike’s wheel and threw him over the handles bars.
He was attended to immediately and air lifted to Milpark hospital where he spent 10 days in ICU, during which he underwent an operation to replace his C6 vertebrae and fuse it with C5 and C7. Once leaving ICU he spent 4 months at the Netcare Rehabilitation Centre in the hopes of eventually walking out of that hospital. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to walk upon discharge, but in true Mark style he improved and worked as hard as he could every single day, surprising his nurses and therapists with his continuous recovery, determination and amazing positive attitude.
As a quadriplegic, Mark’s adventurous side still lives strong in him and he is determined to compete in the 2019 Ironman Triathlon as well as the New York Marathon. However in doing so he needs a special hand cycle to assist him in the “cycle” and a racing chair to assist him in the “run”.
Unfortunately these come at a substantial cost as they need to be imported from overseas and modified to suit him.
Mark is not the kind of person to do nothing for the rest of his life just because he is now disabled, and more than anything he just wants to get some of his life back.
Please could you assist us in raising funds to get our incredible Dad, Son and Brother competing again!! Each and every donation however big or small will mean the world to us as we help Mark in making his dream a reality.