- New Writer Award – Shortlisted
Claire was born in Leicestershire in 1980, and lives near Melton Mowbray. Claire’s life suddenly turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident.
Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved. There were days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get up but over time she rebuilt her life.
After her accident Claire married Dan and became a Mum. On top of all this, she found new sports (skiing and handcycling), set up a business and went on to fundraise to help get a cure for paralysis.
In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She was the first (and only) paralysed person to walk the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit. It took 17 days and raised a staggering £210,000 for Spinal Research. She was then invited to light the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square, and won numerous national awards.
On 13th May 2013 Claire completed her next challenge handcycling 400 miles around parts of England and visiting many schools along the way to do inspirational talks raising another £85,000.
She has continued to raise money for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and is close to her target of half-a-million pounds.
Always wanting a challenge, Claire decided not to have a ghost writer or publisher and went on to write her book “Finding My Feet” which was self published in February 2014. It also raises money for the NSIF.
The money raised is funding the research that made world news in Oct 2014. NSIF fund the work of Professor Geoffrey Raisman, and for the first time spinal cord has been regenerated. The treatment has been carried out on one patient and now ten million pounds is needed to fund the clinical trial. NSIF are giving hope to thousands of people.