As a young girl Neelu, a former Dunedinite spent much of her recreational time in the outdoors, her biggest passion being in the mountains of Central Otago. As a young girl she had 2 dreams: to climb Mount Cook, and to complete the Coast to Coast World Multi-sport Race. In the year 2000 after attending an intensive snowboarding camp, Neelu Memon a 16 year old school girl unexpectedly fell into a coma after she had contracted what she thought was the flu. In actual fact she had a post-viral autoimmune reaction which had resulted in a brain injury and caused her body to shut down.
She spent 2 weeks in ICU and then spent a further 3 and a half months in hospital where doctors were not sure of the outcome- whether she would live or die. But miraculously Neelu woke up and the next year of her life was spent in intensive rehab, learning how to walk, talk fine motor skills and swallow. Upon learning these skills she left hospital and returned to school, while still undergoing part-time rehab. She finished bursary, and started University in 2003. She also started tandem cycling in that year and represented New Zealand at the World Champs in Bordeaux in 2007. After a disappointing burnout she returned home and began a masters degree in disability policy, and while reevaluating her goals, she realised how much she wanted to return to the outdoors, but as a disabled person she didn't know how to do that.
After meeting Gavin Lang who set her a challenge many thought she could not complete and even she was not sure she could complete, she discovered her real passion - climbing mountains. With the support of Gavin Lang, Neelu was able to summit Mount Aspiring in Wanaka New Zealand, and shortly after realise that when she had support, she was able to complete any challenge she was passionate about. So she set her sights higher, and to date has skied the Tasman glacier with a guide, completed the Coast to Coast with support for each leg of the race and completed a paddle across the Cook Strait supported in a 2 person kayak.
Now she wants to spread the word to everyone who ever thought they could not achieve something due to some perceived limitation. She wants everyone to realise that with passion and the right support, anyone can conquer their own 'personal mountains'. With the right support you can be limitless!