SA adventurer amputee completes 7000km trek with Cape Town homecoming

2016-12-05 16:33 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - Cheers of joy and celebrations filled the crowd as SA's adventurer amputee Paul Steyn completed a 7000km journey across the country this past weekend. 

Paul has overcome all physical limitations by walking across the entire country with only one leg. 

Why? To raise awareness about the problems facing amputees, and also to demonstrate the mobility that a prosthetic limb can provide to amputees with the same physical limitations.

The 29-year-old also raises funds for other amputees through his Paul Steyn Foundation.

He says his "dream is to raise enough money to start a mobile workshop which can go to various towns to help needy people get access to prostheses". 

Paul's right leg was amputated after an accident at school in 2000 when he was thirteen years old. His leg was caught in the blades of a lawn mower pulled behind a tractor. Doctors tried their best to save the leg, but after gangrene set in, it was decided to amputate the leg below the knee.

Despite the hardships of learning to deal with the loss of a limb, Paul has triumphed over his circumstances and, with his trek over SA, wants to inspire other people in similar situations to do the same.

This is the route he followed through the country:

He set off from the V&A Waterfront on 3 August 2015. And after walking 7 000km, arrived in Cape Town on 2 December, right on time to share in the City of Cape Town’s International Day for people with Disabilities celebrations at The Green Point Stadium.

Paul addressed the crowd saying, "there is no such thing as a disability. Enjoy life as it is. All of us are normal like anyone else. Never give up."

Since its inception in 2012, the Paul Steyn Foundation has been able to assist 16 amputees with prosthetic legs at a cost of R60 000 per limb on average. Six of those have been assisted during the current walk.

On Friday, 2 December, when Paul arrived in Cape Town, one of the foundation's benefactors Jandre Venter joined Steyn for the final 5km of his walk.

The 19-year-old Jandre lost his leg in a motorbike accident in May this year and received a prosthesis from the foundation. He said it was amazing to have been able to join Paul on the last stretch. 

But for Paul, this is only the end of one journey on his path to paying it forward. He says he wants to drastically increase the number of people benefiting from his efforts.

“I believe in what I do. I just want to pay it forward and help people. If it costs me walking another 15 000km, I will do it.” 

Paul’s route took him through parts of the Western and Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu-Natal, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape again. 

He has visited about 150 cities and towns and gave motivational talks to thousands of school children.

In the last weeks, before he reached Cape Town, Paul also had the opportunity to see South Africa from a different perspective  as the roads he travelled on daily. 

SEE: WATCH: SA amputee's skydive ends 7 000km trek on high note

Paul decided to take to the sky... literally... with Mother City Skydive where a fellow right leg amputee, Jaun Burger, took Paul under his wing. 

(Photo: Tuskphoto)

(Photo: Tuskphoto)

Being an adrenaline junkie of note, Paul also bungee jumped off Bloukrans Bridge - and did a back flip while he was at it - white water rafted in Clarens and Sabie, canoed on the Orange River, dived in the Langebaan Lagoon and zip lined through the trees at several places on route. 

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