Doctors said she'd never walk after meningitis, now she's a top cycling talent.....

25 miles on a bike might not seem very far to some of us, but for one little girl it's another part of a long and amazing journey. When Lauren Booth, now nine, contracted bacterial meningitis at the age of just six weeks it left her with brain damage, loss of hearing and cerebal palsy affecting her arm and leg. Doctors feared that she'd never walk or talk, but now she's one of the most talented young cyclists in the country.

Lauren spent three weeks battling the illness and had to be resuscitated during her stay in hospital. At the age of four, and frustrated with her restricted mobility due to her disabilities, she was given a specially adapted mobility tricycle by the Meningitis Trust.

The trike gave her the independence she craved and from that point on she's never looked back. Before long she was defying her medical assessment by learning to ride a normal bike in spite of her balance issues, and in 2008, not satisfied with just riding her bike, she took up racing.

Lauren is now a talented road racer, ranking 4th in 2009 (rider category D) in the British Cycling points table. She's also keen to pursue track riding, and when she turns ten on March 19 she'll be celebrating with a trip to Newport Velodrome. She's been to watch UCI World Cup events a number of times (to cheer on Sir Chris Hoy, who's her hero) and along with her family she's already raised over £17,000 for the Meningitis Trust.

Lauren's latest adventure is a 25-mile sponsored ride from her home in Chippenham to the head office of the Trust in Stroud, to celebrate both the Trust's 25th anniversary and her 10th birthday. Lauren says of the ride, “The Meningitis Trust gave me a trike when I was little. I now really love cycling. I hope my ride will be fun and raise lots of money."

If you'd like to support Lauren on her ride, head on over to her Virgin Money Giving page. We at road.cc wish her all the best with her future cycling exploits!

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.


GodleySpinner [22 posts] 6 years ago

Fantastic story,well done Lauren,I will be sponsoring you  1

djcritchley [182 posts] 6 years ago


therevokid [1016 posts] 6 years ago

"some" knee pains pale in comparison - donated as soon
as I saw the link  1

Wheels for Wellbeing [1 post] 6 years ago

It's always great to hear things like this in other parts of the country. There are lots of organisations (including Wheels for Wellbeing) that offer either group sessions where disabled people can cycle with their families, or individual instruction. Either route, they can assess you individually to ensure that you have the right cycle for your needs.
Good luck to Lauren in her latest adventure!

My only niggle about this article is that you refer to Laurens' bicycle as a 'normal' bike. All cycles are 'normal', they are just adapted for specific needs - it could even be a very simple adjustment of having a low top tube to enable easier dis/embarkment of the cycle.

skippy [416 posts] 6 years ago

What a great story !

People have "Adaptive Children" in their community and since this is the "European Year of the Volunteer" it is a good time to get out and help them !

Maybe too late to get one of them to the 2012 paralympic but it is time to prepare for 2016 Paralympic