B. Braun helps Paralympic Champion cover seven continents by handbike

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Sheffield-based B. Braun Medical Ltd is continuing its sponsorship of Paralympian Gold medalist Karen Darke as she travels across all seven continents unsupported by any vehicle other than a bike.

Karen, who won gold in handcycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, her 79th medal for Britain, has set up the Quest 79 campaign to raise £79,000 for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

Quest 79 involves cycling a minimum of 7,900km around the world, covering each continent in nine significant handbike rides.

Karen was paralysed from the chest down in 1993 after a rock-climbing accident, but has gone on to become a member of the British Para-Cycling Team, winning a silver medal in the 2012 London Paralympics.

She became an ambassador for B. Braun in 2010, with the company acting as sponsorship partner for several of her previous ventures.

Karen said: “Since winning Gold in handcycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the 79th medal for my country, 79 has become a special number for me.

“I was 79 degrees north when on a sit-ski traverse of the Greenland icecap in 2006, 79 degrees east when handbiking across the Roof of the World in Tibet in 2014, and 79 degrees west, the ‘Wild Way’, on a handbike journey the length of Patagonia.

“Coming up, 79 degrees south will take me on journey of unknown scale through the ice of Antarctica – the ‘Cold Way’.

“The number 79 seems to have become part of my journey in life, from a place of being unconscious of life’s potential, towards destiny and beyond.

“Gold is element number 79 in the periodic table of elements, and I would love Quest 79 to be an opportunity for people to take on their own quests and find their own inner gold.

“I hope to encourage people to step outside their comfort zones and try a new challenge. It’s important to stretch ourselves and learn something new about ourselves in the process – if we stay within our comfort zones then we’ll never know what we can achieve.

“Importantly, I want everyone to share their stories of how they’re taking on a new challenge – by swapping stories we encourage energy and inspiration – and hopefully, at the same time, raise money for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).”

Hans Hux, Group Chief Executive of B. Braun in the UK, said: “Karen continues to inspire us all here at B. Braun. Her total commitment and unwavering courage through her Paralympian journey, as well as her determination to push herself further and achieve the ‘unachievable’, is truly inspirational.

“We are very proud to continue our sponsorship as she takes on her next challenge and I’m sure many of our staff will join Karen in taking on a challenge connected to the number 79 to see how we can stretch ourselves and raise money for a fantastic cause at the same time.”