Claire Lomas is celebrating after her fundraising for a cure for paralysis went past £500,000 earlier than she expected.
The paraplegic mum, who lives in Eye Kettleby, has walked the London Marathon in a special robotic suit, handcycled 400 miles, written her life story and organised a series of charity events.
And she was hoping to reach that magical half-a-million mark in aid of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF) next month at an innovative indoor snowboarding challenge and dinner in Leicester.
But Claire was amazed to be able to raise the £5,000 she needed at the weekend at a dressage convention in Buckinghamshire where she was giving a speech and collecting for the charity.
She said: “It was brilliant. Someone donated £500 to have a picture taken with Carl Hester, one of Great Britain’s top dressage riders, and the auction of a lunch out with Tristan Tucker, who is also well known in dressage, raised £800, so my fundraising total has now shot above half-a-million, which is amazing.”
The money Claire has raised for NSIF will help fund a clinical trial so more patients can have the treatment they have carried out on a paralysed patient who has taken steps and regained some sensation in their legs.
She added: “Without the funding it will not be possible to continue the incredible research so I do what I can to help and I’ve been helped by so many generous people as well.
“It is not just about helping people to walk again, but helping those with neck injuries regain independence so they can feed themselves and drive, for example, and helping people regain sensation, as well as bowel and bladder function.
“A spinal injury has a huge impact on the individual’s life.”
l Claire’s next fundraiser is Boarding Bedlam, at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, on Saturday November 14.
The event start at 7pm and includes a three-course meal, a raffle, live music and an indoor snowboarding competition featuring teams made up of eventers, showjumpers, farriers, vets, hunters and a wild card squad where names of attendees will be drawn out at random.
Tickets, available online at www.claireschallenge.co.uk, cost £60 if bought before November 1 and £65 after that date with all proceeds going to NSIF.