Holly Watson has never run before, but that’s not stopping her entering a half-marathon to help her brother-in-law, who was paralysed last June.
James Thorpe, 28, was critically injured after tripping in the sea while on his stag do in Magaluf, Spain - just days before his wedding to fiancée Michaela Watson.
He was left with a broken neck, paralysed from the waist down and with limited grip in his right hand.
Since the accident, friends and family have rallied round to raise money for the firefighter from Boston and help fund his rehabilitation at specialist centre Neurokinnex in Watford.
He was funded for six hours through the NHS but Holly says the cost of private sessions start from around £70 per hour. Through the rehabilitation he has regained the feeling in his hands and has been able to move his toes, and he remains positive.
Holly, 29, made a New Year’s pledge and is taking part in the Boston (UK) half marathon on April 17. She hopes to raise vital funds to help pay for further hours for James at Neurokinnex.
She said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever run. I’m totally unfit but I’ve been building up the distances. I’ve started running three to five miles and will soon build that up to seven miles.
“James has a very positive attitude. He was a bit overwhelmed when I told him I was going to enter the half-marathon and I want to show him I can do it.
“I have not even thought about the time I want to complete it in. I just want to finish it.”
Holly also organised a Masquerade Ball in October last year which raised more than £1,200 to help fund a stair lift and a week’s stay at Neurokinnex for James.
James and Michaela have set a new date for their wedding and plan to marry in July this year. The new date has given James a target to aim at and he said if he is not walking, he hopes to at least be able to stand at the altar.
l You can sponsor Holly at her JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/holly-watson-2
If you are looking to take part in the event, registration deadline is April 3.
For more details about the Boston (UK) marathon and half marathon, and signing-up, visit www.fullonsport.com/event/boston-marathon-uk-2017/profile. For those not wanting to run but still looking to support the event, there are opportunities to volunteer.
Rachel Lauberts is in charge of recruiting marshals to help at the watering stations and road junctions. For details phone 01205 368351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org