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Watch out for one of Tree of Hope’s sporting stars when Johnny Beer races in the world’s first ever Cybathlon on Saturday!

Johnny was paralysed in a trampolining accident five years ago and his disability means that there are no suitable sports for him in the Paralympics.

Instead, he will represent Great Britain in the FES bike race in Switzerland. He will be riding a Berkel Bike using bionic assistive technology to compete against 11 competitors from nine different countries.

Johnny has been raising funds through Tree of Hope to help pay for sessions at the pioneering Neurokinex in Watford. The results have been startling.

“Neurokinex specialise in spinal cord rehabilitation,” explains Johnny. “I couldn’t sit up from a lying position without the use of my abdominals. After spending numerous hours working with my trainer, I was able to gain enough strength and technique to do it using just my arms.”

“I’m also able to get into a chair with minimal assistance and not many people with my level of injury (C5) can do that. It’s the best place in England for that kind of training and fundraising through Tree of Hope helps me pay for it.”

Always interested in fitness, Johnny was anxious to find activities that would help him stay active after his accident at the age of 16. He started using the BerkelBike with Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) which stimulates his muscles. In Johnny’s case, this means he can use his legs to cycle, even though he is paralysed. The opportunity of riding in the Cybathlon came from talking with former Paralympian, Paul Moore.

“Paul is the BerkelBike UK distributor, I explained to him that I was really interested in doing something more challenging. There weren’t any Paralympic sports at the time that took my interest. When I was offered a place in the Cybathlon last year, I was all for it.”

Johnny will take part in a 750m race around five laps. Six qualifying rounds are followed by races for gold, silver and bronze medals.

Emma Bourne, fundraising manager for Tree of Hope, says pioneering therapies such as those Johnny uses can be life-changing.

“People with complex needs can’t always get the level of support they need through the NHS,” she says.

“Tree of Hope makes it possible for them to get therapies and treatments they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. We’re proud to be supporting Johnny and will be cheering him on at the Cybathlon.”

The Cybathlon will be streamed live on the website

on Saturday 8th October.

Johnny’s fundraising page is at

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