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TR Press UK - 14-07-2016
Mur de Huy is nothing compared with the battle that children with cancer are fighting
At six years of age, Daniel Kulonka had his leg amputated due to cancer. Today, he is cycling to Paris with Team Rynkeby to raise money for children in the same situation as he once was.
Stage 5, Lanaken: Rain is pouring down on Lanaken, Belgium, where Daniel Kulonka and the rest of Team Rynkeby Vordingborg are getting ready for Stage 5 of Team Rynkeby's Tour de Paris to benefit children with cancer.
Today's stage takes the team across the dreaded Mur de Huy in the Ardennes, but neither the rain or the day's challenges seem to be affecting Daniel Kulonka.
"It's just a little water, and Mur de Huy is just a bump in the road that we need to get past," he says.
At the age of six, Daniel Kulonka was diagnosed with bone cancer of the shin. He jumped in bed with his sister, and at some point his leg was trapped between the bed and the wall.
"I scraped my skin but I didn't think any more about it. "Later it developed into a bruise. "One day I was playing football and was kicked in the leg in the same place, and it hurt terribly. "The day after, I couldn't put any weight on the leg," says Daniel Kulonka.
It turned out that Daniel had bone cancer in his shin.
A tough time
After six months of hospital stays, chemo and minor procedures, Daniel Kulonka and his parents were informed that the doctors were going to have to amputate his leg.
"I thought it was okay. "I just wanted to be healthy. "But my parents looked very upset, and my mother was on the verge of tears," explains Daniel Kulonka.
"It was a tough time. "There were many battles and many defeats, which is why it's fantastic that Team Rynkeby can make such a difference for sick children," says Daniel Kulonka, who today is 30 years old and works as an orthotist/prosthetist at Sahva, which manufactures prosthetic devices and other aids – including those for amputees such as himself.
It's okay if it hurts
And for Daniel Kulonka, participating in Team Rynkeby is very much about giving something back.
"If I can do something that lets children in the same situation have a better life, then I am going to do it," says Daniel Kulonka, who admits that the Mur de Huy crossing may mean a little more to him than that.
"I hope I can do it. "Then I can show children who've had their leg amputated that you can live a full, active life as an amputee. "And it's okay if it hurts a little – it's nothing compared to the battle that children with cancer are fighting," explains Daniel Kulonka.
Follow Team Rynkeby's ascent of Mur de Huy at www.team-rynkeby.com/live.
The news you have just read was translated by Amesto Translations A/S.