Former OTW, camper Cara Tavendale, has completed a 200-mile cycle ride over five days to raise funds for Over The Wall. Cara took on the Heart 200 – a 200-mile cycle route around Perth, Stirling, the Trossachs and Highland Perthshire. Due to the pandemic and her health condition, Cara had to shield and her training had to be put on pause. But Cara decided not to postpone the challenge till next year and took on the ride this summer all while managing her health challenges.
In 2007, Cara’s appendix burst, causing her to develop Sepsis, and resulting in her having to undergo multiple surgeries. Cara is now fed from a tube 22 hours a day, and takes varied medication daily, which had to be taken into consideration over the five days that Cara completed the ride.
This intrepid former camper and her mother cycled the route starting and finishing at Strathallan School – a familiar sight to many of our campers as it is where Over The Wall’s Scotland camps take place. Cara herself attended our Health Challenge and Family camps in Scotland from 2009 to 2011.
Cara said “Camp made it possible for me to do things that I never thought I would ever be able to do again. Camp protected me but also always found a way for me to do things, and that made it possible for me to be like everyone else in the outside world.”
Along the route Cara and her mum were joined by friends and family who spurred her on. Despite nearly getting run over by a quad bike, two cyclists and a car, the pair kept in high spirits in true Over The Wall fashion – by singing and dancing – even if it did result in a fall!
“I felt a song come over me, serenaded Mum, and all was good until I added the dance moves in. Hello thicket of brambles! (note to self – don’t sing and dance while riding a bike!)”
In her efforts, Cara has now raised over £2,800 for Over The Wall, money which can be used to support many more campers like herself and allow more seriously ill children across the UK to experience the mischief and magic of camp.
“Over The Wall taught me, and so many others, how to be the hero of my own story, to embrace every opportunity in life, and to turn the words ‘I can’t do that’ into ‘I can and I will do that’.”