Cousins to take on 300-mile cycle challenge despite broken back ordeal

Deven McAlister and Becky Anderson
Deven McAlister and Becky Anderson

Two determined teens are to tackle a 300-mile cycle challenge - despite one of them having broken their back earlier this year.

Cousins Becky Anderson and Deven McAlister are currently training for the London to Paris cycle ride next year - pedalling from the heart of the capital to the Eiffel Tower in four days.

They are taking on the challenge to raise money for Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation - which helped Deven recover after her own accident.

Deven was just 10 days into her gap year travels when she broke her back jumping off a ledge over a waterfall in South Africa.

She landed badly on the water and suffered a compressed fracture and dislocation of a section of her spine. She is still recovering.

“I was carried back to the top of the cliff and taken to hospital,” said Deven, 20. “At this point, no one knew the scale of my injuries.”

She spent a week in intensive care before having an operation to fuse her spine. “This was very hard to deal with as I was in a foreign country without my family,” said Deven. “I am currently focussing on regaining as much fitness, strength and flexibility as possible so I can go back to enjoying being active.

I want to do this cycle challenge, not only as a personal goal but to raise money and awareness for Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, as without them my recovery would have been extremely difficult and I would not have recovered as well as I have. Plus I would never have thought the London to Paris cycle ride was achievable.”

The family are now looking for sponsors to get in touch.

Becky, 21, of Brothertoft, and Devon, formerly of Brothertoft, now living in Cumbria, will take part in the cycle on April 22. They aim to raise £3,000.

To sponsor the pair visit or text NSIF50 plus the amount you wish to donate to 70070.