Dean and his Coast to Coast team mates

An Anglian Water employee who lost his arm to a rare disease bounced back and got on his bike to help others in a similar situation. 

Dean Canny, 31 from Lincoln, suffered a rare form of cancer which led to him having his arm amputated above the elbow last year. Colleagues rallied round and raised money to help buy him a state-of-the-art electronic prosthetic arm. Anglian Water also put money in as well as the Tom Churchyard Foundation which supports people who have lost limbs.

So Dean, a senior engineer, and colleague Jason Barratt, got a team together to do a sponsored coast to coast cycle ride for the Foundation. The ride took three days from Friday (May 22) to Sunday (May 24) and covered 138 miles from Workington in Cumbria to Sunderland. The ride took the team across the Lake District and the Pennines climbing a total of 10,200 feet.

Dean said: “The second day was the hottest and it was also the steepest, as we were riding across the Pennines – that was really tough. I also had the extra weight of a prosthetic arm and I have had to have my bike adapted so all the gears and brakes are on the left hand side which makes it more of a challenge.

“But it was all worth it to help raise money for the Tom Church Foundation who have really helped me over the past eight months. I’ve had to have my new arm adjusted and it needs to be maintained and serviced regularly which they have helped me with.

“The arm is electronic and is fitted to my shoulder like an old Western gunslinger. I can turn and tense my shoulder muscles to activate the arm – it takes quite a while to get the hang of it and learn how to position your body so you can pick things up and put them down.

“We’ve raised nearly £1,000 so far and I’d love to raise even more – anyone can donate online through our Just Giving page here and all the money will go towards helping people like me to who have lost a limb and to live as normal a life as possible.”