My name is Claire Lomas and in 2007 my life was turned upside down when I had a spinal injury whilst out horse riding. I fractured my neck, dislocated my back, fractured my ribs, punctured a lung and contracted pneumonia. When I left hospital it was with a T4 spinal injury, meaning that I was paralysed from the chest down. Prior to this accident, I was a top level event rider and chiropractor. Losing the movement and sensation below the chest, meant that I had to completely start over.
I am now married with a daughter and another baby on the way. I have written a book and have my own business and have managed to achieve things post my accident that I would never have dreamed of, like lighting the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar square. I count myself lucky, there were people I met in hospital whose injuries were more debilitating than mine. It is the thought of these people that gives me the drive to fundraise as much as I can.
I met David Nicholls after I had completed the London Marathon in 2012. He showed me two x-rays, one of an injured spinal cord and one, which to me, looked normal. The scans were from Darek Fidyka and showed his cord before and after he underwent a procedure funded by nsif. I found the results of this procedure incredibly inspiring. From our first meeting, I knew that David and I shared the same passion and belief that spinal injury can be cured. The dedication from this small team convinced me that nsif is the charity I want to support.
I am absolutely thrilled to be attending The Fifth Annual Ceres Charity Luncheon on behalf of nsif, I am also happy that the Matt Hampson Foundation are co-beneficiaries, as last year they helped me to take up motorcycling, a sport which has given me a great deal of enjoyment. They also helped me purchase a ReWalk suit, which has played such a big part in my fundraising. The Ceres Charity Luncheon will be a great fun way to raise money for these two incredible spinal injury charities who focus on both long term, and every day solutions to spinal cord injury.
Huge thank you to Claire for agreeing to write a #GuestBlog for us. Please check out Claire's website: claireschallenge.co.uk