The Olympic Torch Relay was welcomed by thousands of school children and members of the public on Thursday 30th May as it was carried across the iconic, world famous Iron Bridge in Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, recognised internationally as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution some 300 years ago.
It was carried over the Bridge by 37 year old Lyndon Flavell from Wolverhampton, who took over the role of mother and father to his five year old daughter, Libby, since losing his wife Lindsay, to breast cancer two years ago. Following in her courageous steps he was inspired to undertake ‘a year of pain’ pushing his body to the limit; between May 2010 and April 2011 he has entered at least one endurance challenge per month including triathlons, cross country races, half marathons, 10ks and the London Marathon in April 2011. He has also raised several thousand pounds in aid of breast cancer research. Lyndon's running has been a tribute to his wife, she would be so proud of him and to be an Olympic Torchbearer would be the most fitting end.
Lyndon handed the Torch to the next runner, 14 year old Danielle Rowlinson from Telford who teenager showed immense courage and determination in recovering from a very debilitating illness. Dani was nine when she was diagnosed with OCD, an illness with devastating effects, causing an inability to control one’s thoughts about everyday events, leaving acute feelings of anxiety, despair and paranoia. These irrational fears became crippling, leaving Dani unable to attend school for five months; she then developed anorexia and spent six months in hospital. Dani was absolutely determined to recover, showing amazing inner strength and courage to get better. Today she is healthy and fit, has a Sports Scholarship at School and is the U13 Cross Country County Champion. Dani’s ambition is to run 1500m in the 2020 Olympic Games. She is a positive role model for other youngsters and families suffering from an illness, which requires a much greater awareness throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.