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Woman with debilitating conditions to cycle 2,018 miles for assistance dog charities

A disabled cyclist whose assistance dog was viciously attacked three times is to ride more than 2,000 miles to raise money for charities that have helped her gain independence.

Megan Taylor, from Tolworth, developed a few debilitating medical conditions after fainting at a Scout parade in Surbiton in 2011; she fractured her skull in multiple places, and now battles daily fainting attacks, dizziness, impaired balance, hearing loss and episodic blindness.

But since training her assistance dog - a border collie kelpie cross called Ruby - with the help of Dog Aid (Assistance in Disability), she has been able to live with more freedom.

Ruby can help retrieve dropped items, get things from low shelves, empty the washing machine, take off Megan's shoes, socks and trousers, and push pedestrian crossing buttons so Megan does not fall into traffic.

But since finishing her training in March 2017, Ruby has been attacked by other dogs on three separate occasions, and although the physical injuries were minimal, she is no longer confident enough to work in public.

Megan is now on a waiting list with The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, and the dog will need to be trained with Dog Aid like Ruby was.

Her 2,018-mile bike ride will take place throughout 2018, on her specially adapted bike with Ruby either running alongside or sitting in a trailer.

She will be raising money both for Dog Aid and Guide Dogs, to thank them for her independence.

Her fundraiser can be found at mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ridetheyear.

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