Five years ago the then 25 year old Claire Lomas was a keen horsewoman competing in the eventing circuit, until a tragic accident whilst riding in such a competition left her with a T4 spinal cord injury and subsequently paralysed from the chest down.
Her road to recovery, (as much as is humanly possible- or indeed super humanly in her case!), was far from simple or straightforward- not that I believe it ever can be in such circumstances; but I exhort you to check out her story in it's entirety on her webpage at http://www.get-claire-walking.co.uk/index.html
Getting any semblance of life back both physically and emotionally after such an experience, is to be greatly admired and is a huge achievement in it's own right. Claire has indeed surpassed all such hopes and expectations, having met and married her husband and even giving birth to baby Maisie in the subsequent years since her accident; but despite these incredible achievements, Claire has pushed herself to go one step further than ever expected- or should I cheesily say a few thousand steps further! (Apologies!)
Claire's appearance on ITV's Daybreak breakfast programme this morning, was to raise awareness of her remarkable challenge to walk, yes walk the London Marathon with the aid of what I can only describe as mind-blowing technology- a bionic walking suit!
This link will take you to Claire's Just Giving page and will give you both details of her story and the challenge she has set for herself.
There are also videos of this incredible robotic suit that will enable Claire to achieve such a feet at- (www.argomedtec.co.uk) See an early training session:
Claire will be walking for Spinal Research, a charity I too have a special place in my thoughts and heart for.
Although the story of a robotic suit that will enable this once active woman to compete in one of our country's greatest sporting events, is frankly astonishing and fantasy fictionesque- it was Claire's bright and beaming spirit that blew me away above all else!
I think that this 'Reason to Smile' is so incredibly inspirational that it makes up for much lost time- I hope!
Please, please check out this wonderful lady's Just Giving page to read her full and fascinating story.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
Go be inspired.