Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Story Of Will..

When you suffer a setback in life, there are two possible routes you can take. You can either give up, or you can fight back. More often than not people will give up. They’ll give up on what is important to them. They’ll give up on being themselves. They do this because they think it will be easier. However, their family and friends, who have to deal with this stranger, will often disagree.

Every now and then you hear a story of sheer determination. A story that gives hope to those who are not as strong willed. Today I heard a story like this. 

Many of you might have heard about the lady who collapsed and died while running the Virgin London Marathon on the 22nd of April, a mile before the finish. Her death saddened the nation and as a result she ended up raising over £1million for The Samaritans. The reaction from the public, to a complete stranger, was amazing in itself, but this is not the story I wish to talk about..

The story I wish to share is that of a lady who completed this marathon, today. 16 days after she started. Completing the 26 mile route is an achievement in itself, but even more so when you’re paralysed from the chest down. Claire Lomas used to be a horse-rider until a riding accident broke her neck, back and ribs in 2006. Wearing a bionic suit which she had specially made, after raising the funds for it, she completed the marathon.  She’s raised over £83,000 for Spinal Research, which funds medical research to develop treatments for paralysis.

This year, the rules were changed for the London Marathon, and because Lomas didn’t complete the race on the 22nd of April, she’s not entitled to a medal. I personally think this is disgusting. Richard Branson should be ashamed to put his name to this marathon. Fortunately, Olympic rowing champion, Sir Matthew Pinsent, had the brilliant idea of launching a twitter campaign to get her one, and some kind participants donated their medals to recognise her achievement.

This 32-year-old lady, who suffered a setback in life, is an inspiration. Her determination. Her passion. Her strength. It’s something to be envied and admired.