Melanie Thorn

Back Up's London Marathon 2019

Fundraising for Back Up
raised of £4,000 target
by 164 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: London Marathon 2019, on 28 April 2019
The iconic Virgin Money London Marathon is back in 2019, join the Back Up team to help support everyone affected by spinal cord injury!


I have signed up to the London Marathon 2019 to try and raise as much money as I can for Back Up, a charity who support those affected by spinal cord injury.

In 2012 my brother Oliver was injured in a road traffic accident. It was the summer before I started at University and at the time my brother was following his dream of becoming an Officer in the Parachute Regiment. He was on weekend leave, riding his motorbike when he was involved in a high speed accident. He hit the side of a vehicle that pulled out in front of him.

After being airlifted to the Royal London Hospital, having various
surgeries he woke up a month later, paralysed from the chest down. He had fractured over 40 bones and there was severe damage to his spinal cord. More painful than any broken bone was the life altering change- within in a matter of seconds he went from an individual who was physically very active; a boxer and a solider. To suddenly waking up, in pain and unable to move from the chest down.

It was a long and difficult journey not only for my brother, but also those around him. Going from intensive care at the Royal London, rehab at Stoke Manderville Hospital and then on to more rehab at Headley court, we all had to come to terms with his new injury and the different life ahead of him. There were many ups and downs; phone calls from the doctors in the middle of the night asking my parents to come in to the hospital as they were unsure he was going to make it until the morning, family birthdays spent in the hospital by his bedside and the uncertainty we all had for the future.

This impossible journey began to change when Oliver was introduced to Back Up whilst he was at Stoke Manderville Hospital. Getting involved with various simple activities such as wheelchair skills Oliver was able to see that it was possible to regain that independence he felt he had lost forever. But the biggest impact on him was seeing people with the same injury he’d suffered getting on with their lives and making a success of themselves. Oliver took this example and was determined to set one himself.

For me and my family, Back Up provided counselling and family support. This gave us the opportunity to speak to other family members who had gone through the exact same thing. I was able to discuss the huge impact it had on the family and feelings such as feeling guilty for getting on with my life.

6 years later, after having represented Great Britain as a downhill ski racing athlete my brother decided to work for Back Up…..

Back Up is a charity which provides support to those affected by Spinal Cord Injury. Whether that be through wheelchair skills, telephone support, residential courses, peer 2 peer mentoring or supporting the families affected. Through its support my brother and family have witnessed first-hand the huge positive impact it has on people’s lives, it gives people the help, support and tools to live their lives again.

Our family needed help to get through this life shattering event, for this I can only thank Back Up.  I want to do everything I can to ensure that
if others go through the trauma we went through there is a Back Up there to help them find their feet. For that reason I am fundraising for Back Up so that they can help others through spinal cord injury.

About the campaign

The iconic Virgin Money London Marathon is back in 2019, join the Back Up team to help support everyone affected by spinal cord injury!

About the charity

Back Up

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RCN 1072216
Back Up services include mentoring, wheelchair skills training and activity courses as well as support in getting back to work or school after an injury. We provide peer led tailored support to help people adjust to a spinal cord injury and inspire independence and confidence for a positive future.

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