A fun run at a college has raised thousands of pounds for charities supported by
London marathon heroine Claire Lomas.
In an article first published in the Leicester Mercury on December 5th 2012, Fiona Dryden reports:
Paralysed mum Claire – who won the country’s admiration after walking the London Marathon in a bionic suit – said she couldn’t thank students at Brockington College, in Enderby, enough for their sterling efforts which have raised £7,000 for Spinal Research and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
Claire, from Eye Kettleby, near Melton, is embarking on a 400-mile tour of England on specially-adapted bikes next year, and is hoping to raise as much as possible for the two charities.
PE teacher Jo Wyeth, from Brockington College, said:
“I invited Claire to come in and talk to students because she’s such an inspirational figure.
“She held two assemblies and spoke to 880 pupils about her injury, how it changed her life, but also how she has not allowed it to stop her living and doing what she wants to do.
“She really touched our students, so when it came to taking part in the fun run to help kick-start her fund-raising, 725 of them got involved.
“We also held a non-uniform day and together this raised a staggering amount of money. It’s incredible, but we know the charities do amazing work.”
Jo even plans to take part in Claire’s cycle challenge by getting involved along the way.
“Myself and a group of friends will be taking part in the Leicester leg. I couldn’t not get involved after the talk Claire gave. She really is an inspirational person.”
Edan Pickering, 13, who took part in the fancy dress fun run, said: “Claire has inspired me so much by the way she has not let the accident affect her life.”
Claire had planned to cycle from London to Paris, but had to change her plans when she was told she would be unable to collect cash in France.
Instead, she will set off on April 22 from Nottingham, where she will make her way towards London, stopping off in various places along the way.
The 32-year-old said:
“I was bowled over when they told me how much they had raised. It was a joy to go in and talk to students and their support on Twitter ever since has really spurred me on. When I train on my bike, I think of them. It’s really motivational.
“I’m getting fitter and stronger all the time and it feels good to know I have hundreds of pupils at Brockington willing me to do my best.
“It’s a phenomenal amount of money and I just hope I can add to it. I also hope lots of people will come out to support me along the way by getting involved in the cycle challenge.”
Claire will use a hand-powered bike and a specially-adapted functional electrical stimulation (FES) bike to complete the cycle.
The FES bike works by sending electrical impulses to paralysed muscles, causing a series of contractions and relaxations, creating a movement. The impulses are sent to the muscles through pads stuck on the skin above the cyclist’s leg muscles.
To make a donation, visit:
‘Bionic woman’ Claire Lomas is first woman to take robotic suit home
(News item. The Independent 4th Sept. 2012)