Caroline is aiming for gold medal

A FUNDRAISING event is taking place to help a mother fulfil her dream of competing in the London 2012 Paralympics.

Caroline Macdonald, originally from Ashington, has been setting records on the water after finding a passion for the Arms and Shoulders division in adaptive rowing.

The 39-year-old, who now lives in Durham with her husband and seven-year-old daughter, suffers from a very severe form of Ehlers Danlos, which means she has been unable to walk since 1996.

Caroline has kept herself fit playing wheelchair tennis and swimming but after watching adaptive rowing in the Beijing Paralympics, she decided to join a club - Tees Rowing Club in Stockton.

And she has proved to be a natural talent, becoming British indoor rowing champion in 2009 and 2010, as well as being selected to row for Scotland in 2009.

Although Caroline lost most of 2010 due to a tumour in her neck, she came back strongly for the Great Britain trials in 2010-11 – setting the fastest indoor rowing time, which was 1min 29secs faster than her rival.

Her goals include qualifying for the world championships in September and the 2012 Paralympics, where she is aiming for a gold medal.

Now Caroline’s family and friends are aiming to raise £960 to buy a Concept 2 rowing machine which would allow her to train at home, saving more than 300 miles a week in journey times and the subsequent money.

A fundraising event is taking place at Ellington Village Hall and Library on Saturday, May 14, from 2pm.

It will include face painting, pony rides, a cake stall, nail art, raffle, tombola, books, bric-a-brac and other stalls, as well as refreshments.