Joel Zeijlstra & Alan Todd

Joel Zeijlstra & Alan Todd

Born 12-12-1975 by C/S in Johannesburg RSA
Early milestones within the normal range, fine motor co-ordination problematic
Regarded as having minimal cerebral palsy with learning difficulty
Participated in games for the disabled from Std 5 onwards (running, swimming, cycling)

Preschool in Parkview followed by Forest Town School (kindergarten to end of Std 4)
Frances Vorwerg School (Std 5,6,7)
Hope School in Westcliff (1 and half years)
Treverton College in Natal Midlands ( latter half Std 8 to end of Std 10 in 1995)

Participated in games for the disabled from Std 5 onwards (running, swimming, cycling)
Horseriding for relaxation and improved core muscle strength

Currently Joel is employed at Ogilvy and Mather as a proof reader and assistant to his superior.

March 2008

Cycling accident during the Argus cycle race in Cape Town with head injury
Airlifted, intracranial surgery, ventilation and tracheostomy +- 14 days in intensive care unit
Discharged to rehabilitation unit in Johannesburg during the first week of April 2008 where he remained for about three weeks.
A few months later Joel had a few seizure episodes. He is on treatment and has had no further documented seizures since early 2009.
He has lost the use of his left eye.

Joel has been back cycling, both on a single bike and a tandem.  However on 21 July 2017 he unfortunately had a stroke, an infarct in the upper left parietal region of his brain, affecting his speech and further weakening the right side of his body.  He has, most thankfully, made a remarkable recovery.  Joel continues to have physiotherapy and will now have both speech and occupational therapy for a time.

Considering that he now has only the use of his right eye, a degree of ataxia, a history of seizures and weakness of his right side, it has been recommended that he not cycle on a single bicycle.  He will be cycling on a tandem.  Last year, as part of the Trojan group, Joel cycled together with Alan Todd in the 94.7 race and then subsequently in other events.  They were very excited to receive first prize in the disabled category in the Dischem ride for sight!  Go Joel and Alan!

Alan Todd

About seven years ago I rediscovered cycling and have been riding for TNT since my very first 94.7. Over this time I have had the opportunity to push and pull the chariots as well as meet some amazing individuals both charioteer and rider alike. One such individual, whom I had the privilege of meeting last year, is Joel Zeijlstra.

Despite his disabilities Joel has always been an avid cyclist but due to an accident at the Cape Argus a number of years ago which left him blind in one eye he is no longer able to enter events as a solo rider. A couple of weeks before the 2016 94.7 Joel found himself without a tandem partner and I was given the opportunity to ride with him. We had a couple of practice runs in the Cradle and then we successfully completed the 2016 94.7 together.

Since then we have done a couple more races and even won the disabled category at the Ride for Sight race earlier this year. Now we are busy preparing to once again take on the streets of Joburg with the rest of the TNT team to raise money and awareness for the important work that they do.

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