A NOVELIST who has multiple sclerosis is attempting to cross the Swiss Alps on an 80-year-old mobility tricycle to raise awareness of a disability charity.
Liversedge man Dan McIntyre, who is currently writing his first novel, is taking part in the challenge to recreate a journey by Disabled Drivers Association founder O A Denly, known as Denny, in 1947.
Denny, who died last year, was paralysed from the waist down after suffering from polio and was forced to leave the Royal Navy. Despite his disability he decided to pursue his dream of crossing the Alps and did so in 1947 on his 1932 Argson mobility trike.
Now Dewsbury-born Dan, 34, has decided to recreate Denny’s challenge, on the same trike, to promote the charity Denny helped set up, which is being rebranded as Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) .
He said: “I am taking part in this event to promote awareness of the existence and aims of DMUK, the campaigning work and information service provided which a lot of people may not be aware of.
“I would also like to raise awareness among non-disabled people of how they can play a part in making life easier for those of us with mobility problems. I am extremely honoured to be taking part in this event. To sit in the same seat and drive the same machine as Denny on the same journey, is mind-blowing, I just hope I can do him justice.”
Former Batley Boys’ High School pupil Dan is one of a team from DMUK who are taking part in the 12-day challenge, which is 1,520 miles long and three climbs totalling 18,676ft. The team sets off tomorrow.
Other members include paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson, racing driver Nicolas Hamilton and children’s television presenter and England wheelchair basketball star Ade Adepitan, who are all active disability campaigners.
The team aims to pay tribute to Denny, to mark the charity’s new name of Disabled Motoring UK, and to lobby Parliament on the reform of Disability Living Allowance and the effect of increasing fuel prices.
Corporal George Bascope and Craftsman Ben Haywood from the Royal Light Dragoons have restored Denny’s trike in preparation for the trip.