Claire’s life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident. Claire fractured her neck, dislocated her back, fractured ribs, punctured a lung and got pneumonia. Luckily the neck fracture didn't damage the spinal cord but the dislocation to the vertebra T4 left her paralysed from the chest down.
Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved. Although Claire was determined from the start to make the best out of the situation there were plenty of days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get out of bed. She discharged herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, did a lot of rehab (and still does) and over time she found strength and courage to rebuild her life by finding new interests and work as well as raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for research.
A year after her accident Claire met and later married Dan, they had a baby girl - Maisie. She found some new sports (skiing,handcycling, motorbikes), set up a business and fundraised to help get a cure for paralysis. Claire always says she feels so lucky to have the use of her arms, and seeing so many of the patients in the hospital unable to move at all gave her the drive to fundraise as much as possible.
In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She was the first (and only) paralysed person to walk the London Marathon, she did it in a pioneering robotic suit. It took 17 days and raised £210,000 for Spinal Research.
She was then invited to light the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square.
On 13th May 2013 Claire completed her next challenge handcycling 400 miles around parts of England and visiting many schools along the way to do inspirational talks raising another £85,000.
Claire has raised over £75,000 in 2014. She has done this by organising events, collecting at racecourses and events, from her book, school visits and an online auction.
2015 has been another incredible year for Claire and she reached her fundraising total of half-a-million on 18th October- with more events this year to come!
But guess what?... SHE WON"T STOP THERE!
Claire's recent challenge is learning to ride a motorbike.
About Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation
Claire met David Nicholls after the London Marathon in 2012. She was introduced by Helen Fospero who had interviewed Claire twice on Daybreak.
For the first time ever, Claire was absolutely inspired by the research and knew this was the charity she wanted to support. Not only was the research exciting, David shared the same passion as Claire to find a cure for a paralysis. His son was paralysed about ten years ago, so David's drive to do what he can to help make the 'impossible possible' is silmilar to Claire.
Please visit the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation's website
For the first time in history, scientists have recorded the reconnection of severed long spinal nerve fibres… This has huge implications for the future of research into spinal injury.
PLEASE SUPPORT NSIF- WE ARE RAISING MONEY FOR THE NEXT TEN PATIENTS TO BE TREATED.