Big Jubilee Lunch

Inspirational double amputee raises over £1,200 from Santa Dash “bum shuffle”


VIDEO: INSPIRATIONAL double amputee Jill Doran took part in Warrington Disability Partnership’s “Santa Dash” raising over £1,200 for charity – and becoming the latest recipient of a Warrington Worldwide Legacy Project.

While many of the Santas ran or walked the 3k course at Walton hall & Gardens, Jill, aged 59, a double amputee above the knee, who has survived more than 40 operations and a heart attack, did a “bum shuffle.”

As well as helping raise funds for WDP she also wanted to raise awareness and funds for Dog A.I.D (assistance in disability) which has been her savior not just physically but mentally too.

Jill explained: “When I was 15 I was diagnosed with Charcot Marie Tooth disease which I was told affects the bottom half of your legs by the nerves dying off preventing the muscles from working. Many years later I realized it did far more than that.

“Fast forward to 2007 and many surgeries, my legs had become so wasted and painful, I was given two options, fusion of my right leg or above knee amputation. I went for option one and a full-length metal rod was inserted through the bones from my ankle to my pelvis, this was impossible to live with so I went with the second option of amputation above the knee in 2008 – best decision ever! I tried a prosthetic, going to physio twice a week for 7 years but it wasn’t to be.

“During these years I got an Italian Spinone and took her to dog training classes where I met the trainer Peta Brandwood who helped me train ‘Minnie’ in the basics. Several months later I received a call from Peta saying she had become a volunteer trainer for the charity Dog AID and had I heard of it? I had years earlier tried to get on their scheme with my then chocolate Labrador, Murphy, but there were no trainers in the North West, so when Peta offered me this opportunity I actually cried.”

Dog AID, DA was established in 1992 to assist people with physical disabilities, improving their quality of life by helping them train their own pet dogs to provide assistance with day-to-day tasks and in some circumstances life-saving interventions. DA allocate a trainer to clients to help them and give them the tools to train their own pet dog, workshops happen twice a year at Stoke Mandeville.

Jill added: “There are 3 levels you have to pass to become ADUK by an independent assessor which is tough, from your dog not being phased by a pigeon to the trickiest of tasks. My present Assistance dog – Paddy will take bank cards out of machines etc which is always a show stealer in shops! I’ve had Paddy from being 12 weeks old. These trainers are Volunteers as are many of the staff and DA rely on fundraising.

“In 2015 I had fusion surgery in my left ankle and a full hinged knee replacement once again this wasn’t livable so in 2016 the left leg came off, I went from 5f1 to 3f5, can you imagine what my BMI would be????

“I am now losing the use of my hands and wrists now and started with vocal chord paralysis so Paddy is now learning hand signals as well as very gruff sounding commands at times. My disability has given me so many opportunities and I’ve met true, genuine people and my BFF Peta Brandwood, I wouldn’t change a thing. 42 operations and a heart attack later I’m here telling this story!

“On Saturday I had my first boxing lesson and met Ricky Hatton and Sunday was the best day ever, bum shuffling in puddles and mud with my amazing husband Pete and my beautiful black lab, Paddy. I’d be lost without them including my sons and certainly my mum – who took me to so many appointments over the years, I get my strength and stubbornness from her, thank you, mum!”

Donations can still be made online CLICK HERE

Jill with WDP’s dave Thompson at the Santa Dash – Picture John Hopkins

Ed’s Note: After witnessing Jill’s inspirational efforts while taking part in the Santa Dash as part of my ongoing charity challenge for WDP to celebrate their 30th anniversary, I decided to award Jill one of our Warrington Worldwide Legacy Project grants, in recognition of her outstanding achievements.

Jill celebrates finishing her challenge – Picture John Hopkins


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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