A SOUTHAMPTON man born with a physical disability has cycled the equivalent of two times round the equator in memory of his family.
Gus McKechnie has been raising money for charity for 19 years and raised more than £2.1 million so far.
His most recent achievement has been completing a 50,000 mile static bike ride on a ferry, to raise £90,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Hemochromatosis Society.
It has taken the 38-year-old seven years, with Gus going on board Red Funnel and Isle of Wight ferries to complete the challenge and travelling across the Solent more than 4,500 times.
His mission is to raise awareness and having been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth, a condition affecting physical movement, Gus is determined to show that nothing is impossible.
Gus’s charity fundraising work was inspired by his mother who died from ovarian cancer and his brother who died from Hemachromatosis – a condition which causes your body to absorb too much iron making the liver and heart shut down.
This work has led to Gus being awarded the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Award Sporting Achievement 2014 as well as the Southampton Solent University Lifetime Achievement Award.
The wheelchair rugby player for Solent Sharks was also picked to trial for the British Paralympic Sports and in 2012 he carried the Olympic Flame through Southampton.
Gus has said he feels like a sign of determination for people with life-threatening illnesses, having put himself through various physical challenges and breaking two long distance adaptive rowing records.
He added: “There were times when the journey seemed so long and I thought about stopping, but the overwhelming support and encouragement from customers and staff at Red Funnel really kept my focus and resolve. “I am absolutely chuffed to be completing the full 50,000 miles, particularly as Southampton celebrates its 50th year as a city.”
And Gus isn’t stopping.
His next endeavour will be to continue the cycling challenge and reach 75,000 miles as well as complete the Weymouth Triathlon in September, finishing the running section in a racing wheelchair.
To find out more about Gus’ charity work, visit: www.gusmckechnie.com