A SPORTS coach who lost his lower leg to a nerve-damaging disease is aiming to take on a triple challenge for charity.
Graeme Moore is in training to tackle The London Triathlon at the ExCel Centre in the capital – and the Great North Swim in the Lake District.
Graeme, of West View, Cleadon had always lived an active life as a youngster despite being diagnosed as a child with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
The progressive condition damages the peripheral nerves which control the muscles and relay sensory information to the brain.
Eventually, the condition worsened in his right leg and doctors were left with no option but to amputate it.
Graeme gave up his job as a swimming teacher and set about adapting his life.
Now the 53-year-old is taking on a whole new battle after signing up for what will be his first triathlon in aid of the Arctic One Foundation.
The charity provides equipment to enable everyone with a disability or who is fighting cancer to be involved in sport.
The London Triathlon in August will see Graeme do a 400-metre swim, a 2k bike ride and a 2k run.
The Great North Swim is in June on Lake Windermere and Graeme will swim a mile. Graeme is also the head coach for Phoenix Triathlon – a group he started in 2010 to encourage young people to take up sport.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the triathlon, it’s really exciting.
“It is going to be a challenge and certainly nothing I have done before.
“I am really relishing the challenge which lies ahead and I’m receiving a lot of support.
“I chose the charity as it is linked to my own disability.
“I’m an amputee and there is quite a lot of people who have suffered from amputations and they would like to be involved in sport. This charity enables them to do that by providing the additional equipment they may need.”
Graeme will continue to have problems with his left leg due to the condition.
He currently trains at Haven Point in South Shields, Brinkburn Community Centre, Boldon Community Centre and at the seafront.
He also takes part in the weekly Park Run event.
He added: “The training is going really well. I can handle the swimming side of it.
“I have yet to start the cycle training but I am training three to four times a week.
Graeme has set up a Virgin Money giving page for anyone who would like to support him in his fundraising endeavour.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GraemeMoore3