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How Superhero Dave is beating the passing of time

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When Dave McQuirk started to use a wheelchair to get around, little did he know that it would lead to one of the biggest challenges of his life.

Dave, who lives in Camberley, Surrey, had a leg amputated in 1999 due to complications with his spina bifida. He now wears a prosthetic leg and has recently started using a wheelchair to get around. He explains:

“I found I was staggering rather than walking to work, so I started to use a wheelchair. I realised I was able to go further and further. Where walking was a struggle, I was able to push several km. This inspired me to do a 5km wheelchair push.” 

Now Dave will be tackling the Superhero Series Triathlon event at Dorney Lake in Berkshire on Saturday 19th August. This will involve him completing a 400m swim, 10km handcycle and 2.5 km wheelchair push/run. Dave will be doing this to support Shine.

“I’m 50 this year and thought I’d have a go at something I’d not done before. The Superhero series Tri seemed a great idea and will be the first sporting event I’ve done since my early teens. I wanted to do it for a charity - Shine seemed the obvious choice. My parents were involved with Shine when I was younger, then as a young adult Shine gave advice and supported me too, especially around the time I needed surgery to have my leg removed.

“My parents brought me up to give anything a go. If you don’t try you’ll never know. You are never too old to try something new. Better to try something and find out it’s not for you. Ageing takes its toll, so we need to keep fit with what we have. I’m competing against myself really.

Dave, a member of the Shine 40Plus group, continues: “The internet has made such a difference. Those of us in the 40-50-60 community now have peer-to-peer support; we’d never have had that years ago.

“I started preparing for the swim in April – it’s the area I’m least confident in, but have now completed the full distance several times. I’ve also borrowed a hand cycle for the cycling part. I’ve found that having a target, something to aim for, made it easier to carry on training even when it was cold and wet. I found that I felt generally better when I’d exercised than when I’d missed some days.”

Dave went to Lord Mayor Treloar College in Hampshire for young people with physical disabilities. He later studied Disaster Management at Coventry University, and now works as an Emergency Preparedness Manager for Public Health England.

To support Dave, go to

Superhero image courtesy

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