Among the 700 bike riders from Israel and 12 countries abroad participating in
Alyn Hospital’s 14th annual, fiveday, 400-kilometer Wheels of Love fund-raising
event is Col. (res.) Dror Peltin, who fell over 3,000 meters in a parachuting
accident and was severely injured but rehabilitated himself in years of
Five years ago Peltin’s main parachute didn’t open, and his
reserve chute opened too late to protect him from injury. His identification
with the physically disabled children at the Jerusalem pediatric rehabilitation
facility led him to participate in the biking event to raise money from
sponsors. Alyn hopes that over $2 million will be raised by Thursday to help the
After 25 years of service in the IDF, including as a commander
of the Jordan Valley Brigade during the second intifada, Peltin is in charge of
the Parachuting School.
Peltin recalled that he was awake when he hit the
ground a few kilometers away from where he was supposed to land, but when he
felt bones emerging from his legs and understood how serious the injury was, he
He broke his thigh and pelvis, some of his abdominal
muscles were severely injured, and he needed platinum bars to be inserted into
“I asked my wife – who is a nurse – after the operations if I
would be able to walk again, and she said yes,” he said.
He realized that
effort he put into rehabilitation would determine whether he would be able to
“One of my physiotherapists told me that within a year, I would be
able to run a marathon. I thought he was joking,” Peltin recalled.
he recovered, he has participated in an Eilat triathlon, the Kinneret Crossing
and even in an Ironman competition. But the Wheels of Love bike ride is a high
point for him, he added.
At the end of the race, Alyn children hand out
medallions to the riders, including Peltin.
The young patients suffer
from a variety of disabilities, including motor, sensory, respiratory,
communicative, cognitive and behavioral deficits.
This year’s ride began
at Michmoret on Sunday with five routes: off-road, off-road enduro, on-road,
challenge on-road and a touring route.
All routes leave from Mevo’ot Yam
at Michmoret. Some of the places they pass are Binyamina, Zichron Ya’acov, the
Lower Galilee, the Gilboa, the Kinneret, the Beit She’an Valley, Latrun and the
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