Go ‘Lightning Lottie’! says Paralympic gold medallist ‘Hurricane Hannah’

Mini Wheelchair Marathon Competitor Lottie Wilcocks fundraising for Dogs for the Disabled

Lottie Wilcox (12) is competing in the Virgin Money Giving Mini Marathon on 13 April. Lottie has an assistance dog, Velvet, from charity Dogs for the Disabled and wants to emulate her heroes Hannah Cockcroft and David Weir in winning Paralympic Gold medals for Great Britain.

“Velvet is my best friend. She comes everywhere with me and gives me confidence to do things couldn’t do without her”, says Lottie. Velvet accompanies Lottie when training for road and track wheelchair races. Lottie came second in the Great North Run in 2013 and trains with Rochdale Harriers (road races) and Manchester Kestrels (track).

Hannah Cockcroft, Paralympic Gold Medallist, says: “I’m so touched by the support Lottie Wilcocks gets from Dogs for the Disabled assistance dog Velvet and thrilled Lottie wants to follow in my tracks and try to win the London wheelchair mini marathon.  My first win in April 2009 was the start of a hard journey towards many world records and two Paralympic Golds and I know Lottie aims for Paralympic glory too. We West Yorkshire girls are hard to beat and Lottie has a great future in wheelchair racing. Go Lightning Lottie!  – from Hurricane Hannah.”

Just hours after she was born Lottie underwent nine hours of major surgery and since then has had orthopaedic, bowel and bladder operations and brain surgery.

Labrador Velvet helps 12 year old Lottie, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, with practical tasks and gives her independence too, allowing her to come home alone like any of her classmates. Unable to walk, Lottie can’t feel her knees, shins or feet and gets around only in a wheelchair. But Velvet gives the aspiring Paralympic athlete the confidence to live life to the full.

Velvet arrived two years ago and turned Lottie’s life around. Not only can she help her open doors and drawers, switch on lights, put her catheter rubbish in the bin, dress and undress and pick up dropped items; in an emergency she’ll also bark on command and can fetch the phone if Lottie falls out of her wheelchair and needs help.  During Lottie’s hospital visits it is Velvet who keeps her calm.

Lottie is competing in aid of Dogs for the Disabled and says: “I am raising money for Dogs for the Disabled because they do an amazing job and without them Velvet and I would not be the fantastic team that we are. Every penny helps – Woof! Woof!”

See Lottie’s story here:

To sponsor Lottie go to the Team Velvet and Lottie Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/Tracey-Wilcocks1.

To find out more about Dogs for the Disabled go to www.dogsforthedisabled.org

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