Firstly, I would like to introduce myself properly. I am Lexi Alyx Chambers. I am an Army veteran (Royal Signals), ex NHS registered nurse, below knee amputee with 2 chronic pain conditions, CRPS & Fibromyalgia. Due to my CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) of which there is no cure, I had my leg amputated 3 years ago. However, just 2 weeks later the condition returned, which is why I am wheelchair dependent. When this happened, I did not want it to be the end of sport for me, so I adapted my expectations and found a way to participate in sport again, using what equipment I had. Last year (2022) I entered my first triathlon using my handbike and everyday non-sport wheelchair, which then led to a series of events, during which I managed to set 2 new world records, for the fastest full and half marathons using a non-sport wheelchair (female). I completed 7 events; 2 triathlons, 4 half marathons and a marathon. Also a further 2 marathons in training and 13 virtual challenges, all using the same wheelchair.
Why? Firstly, my driving force is to raise as much as I can for important charities and to show people like myself what can be done with what you have. To show that nothing is impossible. That even when adversity strikes, you can still achieve your dreams.
This year (2023) I would like to fundraise for a very important charity to me. The Aaron Lewis Foundation. This charity was set up by the family of Lt Aaron Lewis of 29 commando regiment Royal Artillery, who sadly lost his life in action in Afghanistan. This charity is dedicated to his memory and assists in getting veterans back into sport.
My event, which I wouldnt be able to complete wothout ALF, will be a world first and a new Guinness world record, to become the 1st female to travel the greatest distance in 12 hours using a standard wheelchair. The event will take place on Monday 21st of August 2023 at Exeter Arena.
I am just one person who is trying to make a difference with what I have. I wish to motivate people to engage in sport, with what equipment they have. Especially with the current economic climate, where for the majority, expensive sports equipment is unobtainable. I am hoping to show that you do not need it to achieve your goals, whether you are disabled or not. It's about getting out there and having a go.
Since my conditions began, I have experienced a great deal of loss. The loss of my leg, my independence, and my mobility. Of friends, and my career. Most importantly of the life as I knew it. It was hard. I grieved the loss of my leg and of my life, but I knew this could and would not be the end. I had to make it a new beginning.
For me, as a disabled woman, setting these milestones is about showing what can be done when adversity strikes. When I developed CRPS, or Fibromyalgia, or when I had to have my leg amputated, or even just getting up every day, is a challenge. But it's a challenge my body sets for me. The challenges I chose are those that I set, and if I can overcome what my body wants and dictates, then I can overcome what my mind, and others tell me is impossible.