The world gave a collective gasp six years ago when Claire Lomas overcame being paralysed from the chest down to complete a marathon in a robotic suit in 17 days.
And this week she is on course to better that amazing London Marathon achievement after walking 10 miles of the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon course in just three days.
Claire, from Eye Kettleby, has been regularly posing for selfies with her adoring fans along the route after setting off on Sunday morning with the rest of the 13,000-strong field, with balance support from behind from husband Dan.
She has already raised around £15,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), the cause which she has generated more than £600,000 for with a variety of gruelling fundraising efforts.
As Claire rested tonight (Tuesday) after a tough day walking in the cold and the rain Claire told the Melton Times: “It’s going well and I hope to finish on Monday.
“I’m very tired, though, and my back really hurts today but I’m hoping to get a massage later from a friend who is a sports masseur.”
Every step in her pioneering ReWalk suit is an effort because of her paralysis. She has no core strength to hold her body upright so her arms work hard for balance. It must be a curious sensation since she can’t feel the ground beneath her each time she steps forward.
“It was very nice weather on Monday but the pavements have been wet and slippery today so you have to really concentrate because it makes you feel very vulnerable,” said mum-of-two Claire (37).
“The support has been amazing every day and people keep popping up to offer sponsorship.”
Claire is due to give a live interview to BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and also appeared on Good Morning Britain last week to raise the profile of her cause, which is seeking a cure for paralysis.
Her fundraising will be boosted by a gesture from the organisers of the Manchester Marathon, who will donate £5 to her charity for every runner who signs up to next year’s race on Monday or Tuesday.
Go online to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lotsofsmallsteps or text LEGS 60 £5 to 70070 to sponsor Claire.