Care leaver completes 80-mile ride and run for Barnet charity

Jennifer Mohammadi at the culmination of her charity cycle for Live Unlimited

Jennifer Mohammadi at the culmination of her charity cycle for Live Unlimited - Credit: Jennifer Mohammadi/Jeff Mood Photography

An East Finchley care leaver cycled 55 miles and then ran a marathon in aid of a Barnet charity that supports 331 children in care and 357 care leavers.

Jennifer Mohammadi cycled from London to Brighton on September 19 and then ran 26.2 miles on October 4 for the London Marathon, raising £290 for Live Unlimited.

The 24-year-old entered the care system aged 14 and had lived with eight different foster carers by the age of 19.

Jennifer, who joined Live Unlimited’s board of trustees this summer, said: “As a care leaver and trustee, I find great fulfilment in supporting an organisation which will be for others what I would have wanted for my younger self.  

“I found motivation in supporting Live Unlimited in alleviating stressors associated with being a child in care or care leaver.”  

Despite committing to the 55-mile cycle, the 24-year-old has not been on a bike since primary school.  

“The need to rent a bicycle solely for the use of the event demonstrates how much of an amateur I really am”, she said. 

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As a type 1 diabetic, climbing the Ditchling Beacon Hill – the third highest point in the South Downs – Jennifer faced several challenges during her solo cycle.  

She told the Ham&High: “With no one to wave me off, accompany me throughout or receive me at the finish line, I faced all challenges by myself.  

“Obstacles included fighting a cold, losing my way, getting caught up in the rain, missing water stops, and tumbling blood sugars. 

“But, spending hours by myself, I could reflect on my personal experiences and how I was aiding Live Unlimited in breaking certain cycles – giving me that final push to miraculously reach the finish line.” 

Two weeks later however when she embarked on the London Marathon, she was not alone.  

“I started crying by mile 23 and barely managed to put one foot in front of the other. Luckily I was accompanied by my partner this time, and we faced the challenges together.” 

In spite of her difficult start, Jennifer completed a degree in cognitive and clinical neuroscience at the University of Westminster in 2020, and is now studying for an MSc in global master of public health at Imperial College London. 

Jennifer said Live Unlimited empowers the children it supports by helping to improve their employability and encourage self-belief, enabling them to find an identity outside of trauma.

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Jennifer Mohammadi

Jennifer Mohammadi - Credit: Jennifer Mohammadi