A man from Horsham who sustained a spinal cord injury while putting up some Christmas lights in 2017 is set to take part in the London Marathon.
Wheelchair user Edward Bridger-Stille will take on the challenge on Sunday and hopes to raise £7,000 for the charity Aspire.
He said: “I wanted to take part in the London Marathon to raise money for Aspire because six people every day are told they will never walk again and Aspire is there to help pick up the pieces of their lives.
“They help many people when they come out of hospital, which is always a very vulnerable time.
“When I was in hospital I spoke with one of their Independent Living Advisors, who gave me invaluable advice and support.”
While in hospital following his accident, Edward says he spent the next seven months quietly realising that he would never walk again.
“This was a massive blow but the support I had from my family and friends has been beyond extraordinary,” he added.
“The nursing staff at Brighton and the Spinal Injury Centre at Salisbury were, quite frankly, magical.
“Life continues and for me, my wife is everything.
“I owe a debt to her and my children (and spaniels) without whose unfaltering support, I certainly would not have made it this far.”
The event will be a huge challenge for Edward, who has never taken part in a marathon before. The only fundraiser he has done previously is a Tough Mudder which he found extremely difficult.
In fact, most of his family fell over laughing when he said he was thinking about doing a marathon!
However, Edward’s fundraising has been going so well that he keeps having to raise his target, and has so far raised over £6,000 for Aspire who provide practical help and support to people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury.
Andrew Ogierman, Aspire’s challenge events manager, said: “Our 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon runners have worked really hard over the last few months to ensure they are ready for their big day on the streets of London.
“Whilst preparing to run - or wheel - the 26.2 miles to The Mall, they have also raised a huge amount of money to support people with spinal cord injuries, making a real difference to people’s lives.
“It has been a pleasure to support them, answer questions, calm nerves and ensure they enjoy their day in the spotlight.
“They should all be very proud of what they have and will achieve.”
To sponsor Edward, click here
For more about Aspire, visit www.aspire.org.uk