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B.C. woman biking to Ottawa to promote awareness for the disabled

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B.C. resident Stephanie McClellan, who is travelling to the nation’s capital on a three-wheeled, hand-propelled bike as part of her mission to promote accessibility for the disabled, will stop in Fort Frances next week.

McClellan, 26, disabled six years ago by rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, began the trek—dubbed “On Wings Like Eagles”—in Vancouver on May 30.

She and her support team hope to reach the provincial capital by the end of August.

“Things are going really well but there are always a few curves—like the prairie winds,” McClellan noted yesterday from Brandon, Man.

“But yesterday we did 87 km in three hours because the wind was in our favour,” she added.

McClellan leaves Brandon today en route to Portage La Prairie, Winnipeg, Kenora, and Nestor Falls before heading into here.

“She is having an absolutely marvelous time and is doing very well,” McClellan’s mom, Jerrilyn, enthused from her home in Fonthill, Ont. on Monday evening.

While McClellan is seeking sponsorships and donations to cover the cost of the tour, her main goal is to foster public awareness of disability issues through workshops in each host community along the way.

“The workshops help to show the unique contributions the disabled can make to their communities and their churches,” she said. “We may need to be served but we can serve as well.”

A candidate for ordained ministry with the United Church of Canada, McClellan will hold a workshop at Sunny Cove on July 14 in conjunction with Knox United’s annual inter-generational camp session there.

McClellan also is currently a member of the Division II Provincial Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team in British Columbia, and in 1997 she carried the Canadian flag for the opening ceremonies at World Wheelchair Games in England.

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