Paul was adopted at 6 months, given his 1st chance in life. He was bullied at school for being adopted and bullied for being a talented athlete, always told he was average but Paul didn't listen to those words and has tried to be the best he can be everyday, he never gave up and has helped change thousands of lives through his fundraising. At the age of 32 Paul survived a RTA and went into lock-in Syndrome for 12 years he also survived a deliberate hit and run in 2014. Now Paul is raising funds for Breast Cancer Haven in memory of his good friend and a huge inspiration in his life, Marjorie Anne Walker who passed away last year after fighting breast cancer. Paul believes he has been given 3 chances in his life and wants to give others a chance by rowing the channel solo with a hope of raising £150,000.
In 2017, Marjorie Anne Walker passed away after her second battle with breast cancer. During her fight with this terrible disease, Marjorie Anne continued to support others who faced the same fight. To this end she set up Portsmouth Breast Friends who in turn then helped to raise funds towards Breast Cancer Haven Wessex in Titchfield. Breast Cancer Haven are a charity who support men and women who have been affected by the disease. Marjorie Anne was a fighter and a huge inspiration not only to her family and friends but to Paul also. Part of Paul's story is below.
My name is Paul Smith, in 1991 I was involved in a Road Traffic Accident because someone overtook on a blind bend at night and hit me head on. I now have a brain injury, spinal, chest and neck injuries as well as hip and should injuries, I live with migraine pressure in my brain 24/7 and I have to relearn basic tasks over and over again everyday, I also have PTSD and deal with depression on a daily basis. Shortly after my accident I went into Lock-in Syndrome for 12 years, a year after emerging from Lock-in Syndrome and still unable to communicate I somehow indicated to my family that I would like to fundraise for children and teenager charities. For the next 14 years I took on challenges which included pushing myself in my wheelchair from Plymouth to London via my home town of Portsmouth, Portland to London, Portsmouth to London and in 2015 I pushed myself up the Rock of Gibraltar in record time. In 2017 I decided that I would retire from physical fundraising challenges but the passing of my good friend who was also an immense inspiration and support to me, something kept niggling the back of my mind about doing just one more challenge in the memory of Marjorie Anne and the many who fight bravely against breast cancer (including men). In March 2018 I made the decision to take on just one more physical challenge and as I have taken on many challenges on land and in the air it seemed only too right too take on a challenge on the sea (I am a Royal Navy Veteran). So in May 2019 I will be rowing across the channel with the hope of raising £150,000 for the charity that will help many people who battle with so much more than I do in daily life. I wondered if you would help me achieve my target for this fantastic charity and by doing so you will be helping many people who bravely fight breast cancer. Many Thanks for reading my story and my reasons for taking on the challenge.