Roller marathon challenge for Reporter Series Fund

Dewsbury Reporter news editor Lindsay Pantry, who is taking on a roller marathon to raise money for the Reporter Series Fund
Dewsbury Reporter news editor Lindsay Pantry, who is taking on a roller marathon to raise money for the Reporter Series Fund
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Just five months ago, Reporter Series journalist Lindsay Pantry was unable to walk a few steps after suffering from a brain lesion.

But on Sunday, she will strap on her roller skates and skate a 26-mile roller marathon to raise money for the Reporter Series Fund.

At first, doctors thought Miss Pantry, news editor at the Dewsbury Reporter and Mirfield Reporter, had suffered a stroke when she found herself unable to control her legs in December.

But brain scans revealed a Clinically Isolated Syndrome, an inflammation in the brain caused by nerve damage, which can be permanent.

Miss Pantry, of Wakefield, said: “The thought of having a stroke was very scary, as that would have meant my walking difficulties would have been permanent, but when the inflammation was diagnosed, it meant that given time, I could return to normal.”

It took around six weeks for her to be able to walk normally again, and tiredness can bring back the symptoms to a lesser degree.

But she was determined to get back to normal and once again participate in the sport she loves, roller derby.

Miss Pantry, 28, has been a member of Wakey Wheeled Cats roller derby league for around four years, regularly competing in bouts and helping to train newer skaters.

Roller derby is a fast-paced, full-contact sport played on quad roller skates.

Offensive players, known as jammers, rack up points by passing opposition skaters while teammates, known as blockers, try to stop the opposition jammer doing the same.

“As soon as I was able to walk properly again, I was determined to skate again,” Miss Pantry said.

“But it has been particularly tough as the inflammation seemed to really affect my balance - which is vital for skating and roller derby. I also get tired quickly.”

Although she is not back to her former fitness, Miss Pantry jumped at the chance to take part in the roller marathon, which takes place at a mile-long race track in Preston.

She said: “This is without a doubt one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do, but I am determined to drag myself round every one of the 26 laps of the race tack.

“And it will really help me to keep on going knowing I’m supporting four fantastic charities.”

The Reporter Series Fund was set up to benefit four charities - Kirkwood Hospice, the Forget-Me-Not Children’s Hospice, grant-giving foundation One Community and Asthma UK.

To sponsor Miss Pantry, click here visit our Virgin Giving page or post a cheque payable to Reporter Series Fund to Reporter Series, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13 2EY.