DCC staffer proves doctors wrong during Battlefield Bike Ride

For Leann Turnbull, completing the 600-km Battlefield Bike Ride through the First World War battlefields of Belgium and France for Wounded Warriors Canada in June, was part of an act of remembrance and part a personal victory.

After a devastating back injury 10 years ago left the Gagetown Coordinator, Project Management and avid cyclist, unable to ever ride again, Turnbull was devastated.

“It took me three years to recover,” says Turnbull. “I had an awesome physiotherapist who taught me how to walk and change my gait. She worked with my Pilates coach. I swam laps. I don’t call it stubbornness. I call it determination.”

Turnbull eventually joined a local cycling club, learned how to ride efficiently and slowly built up her endurance.

“I never thought I’d be able to ride a bike again never mind do the Vimy trip. I guess I proved my doctors wrong.”

Turnbull and her friend, Melissa Coleman, formed their “Shift-y” New Brunswicker team (the only civilian all-female team) and raised $9,500 for Wounded Warriors, part of $750,000 the trek raised.

“How could I say no?” Turnbull says to having completed the 100km-a-day trek in honour of Vimy 100 and Canada 150.

“One of my biggest takeaways, aside from honouring the fallen, was riding with CF members with PTSD, who have benefited from their (Wounded Warriors Canada) programs. These men and women are incredible. You would see them at the memorials, hugging and supporting each other. It gave me a whole new appreciation for what these members go through."


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