65-year-old, Mary Lamb, to be the UK’s first female wheelchair user to ‘climb’ the Three Peaks for charity

Supergran Mary Lamb is aiming to become the UK's first ever female wheelchair user to 'climb' the Three Peaks with her assistance dog Sheldon. 

The 65-year-old and grandmother of 9 has been in a wheelchair since 2007 after she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.  

But now she's going to push her body to the limits by reaching the summit of all three mountains - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon - with the help of specialist volunteers. 

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Mary has embarked on a gruelling training schedule to prepare her for the three-day challenge which has impacted her energy and pain levels. 

“I get so tired when I train and the pain is immense but I won't give in," said Mary. 

"I've got hot water bottles and hot towels and I put those on the really sore bits then go to bed and get up and do it all over again. 

"It's going to be tough, really, really tough. And when I do it, it'll be awful, absolutely horrible, and I don't like heights!"   

Alongside a protein-boosting diet of chicken, steak and fish, training for her big day involves Mary and Sheldon visiting the gym twice a week and getting out on her trike every other day for a long distance cycle to help build her strength and stamina. 

Mary suffers with leg and arm immobility following a COPD and then a neuro muscular condition diagnosis. Mary suffers with leg and arm immobility following a COPD and then a neuro muscular condition diagnosis.
Mary suffers with leg and arm immobility following a COPD and then a neuro muscular condition diagnosis. | 72Point

“I’ve got extra legs now!”

Mary, from Wirral, got the 'crackers' idea after having a dream that she was able-bodied and was climbing the Three Peaks.  

Despite waking up and realising she wasn’t, Mary still decided to do it.   

Before a COPD and then a neuro muscular condition diagnosis - which affects the use of her arms and legs, Mary often encountered people being unkind to her in the street.   

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Mary said: "I got told I was drunk because I was wobbling down the street and everyone would say 'what's wrong with you?  

“They'd push in front of me and tell me to get out the way. It made me feel so insignificant. I felt not worthy and that I should, perhaps, be locked away. But that's not right.  

"We should be doing things - why shouldn't we just because we can't walk?   

"I've still got my brain. It's not very good some days, but I've still got it.  Why shouldn't I be able to go out and be part of society?   

"I just lead a normal life.  Now I just do it on wheels instead of legs and I've got extra legs now!" 

Mary has been given her independence back with the help of four consecutive assistance dogs from charity Dogs for Good.  

Her current dog Sheldon helps with everything, from doing the washing and shopping to helping her undress at night and changing the bed as well as being a companion.  

"Sheldon looks at me, throws my slippers at me...I just want everybody to have that.” Mary says. "Sheldon looks at me, throws my slippers at me...I just want everybody to have that.” Mary says.
"Sheldon looks at me, throws my slippers at me...I just want everybody to have that.” Mary says. | 72Point

“Sheldon has helped me get out there and start living again”

After doing a zipwire aged 60, Mary's now set herself the challenge of raising £30k to give someone else the chance to have one of these assistance dogs by conquering the Three Peaks over a three-day period later this month.  

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Mary will be supported by Škoda who will provide a car for her to get to the start of each climb.   

She said: "After my diagnosis my confidence hit rock bottom. Dogs For Good gave me my confidence and life back through their assistance dogs.  

"I just want others to have what I have every day that I can get up and I see that dog.   

"It's tough and some people stuck in a house may start to feel worthless.  

"Sheldon looks at me, throws my slippers at me...I just want everybody to have that.   

"Sheldon has helped me get out there and start living again, and that's what we're doing it for."  

As for Mary's family's reaction when she told them her plan…  

"The grandchildren think I'm crackers and so do lots of others but I'm not going to sit in the chair and watch daytime TV for the rest of my life." 

You can donate to Mary's challenge here.

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