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Sisters’ challenge inspired by ‘hero’ sibling’s brain injury

Sisters’ challenge inspired by ‘hero’ sibling’s brain injury

Eight half marathons in eight consecutive days to represent the eight days that sister Tilly spent in a coma.

Two sisters took on a series of tough challenges inspired by their younger sibling, who sustained a brain injury in a serious road traffic accident.

The pair ran together to show support for their sister Tilly Raper, from Yorkshire, who was left in a coma following the collision in March 2022.

Lottie, 28, will be running to raise money for national charity Headway – the brain injury association, which helps rebuild lives after brain injury. Her sister Emily, 30, is fundraising for The Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Emily said:

"Seeing someone who you love in a coma is horrendous, and not knowing what will happen is even worse. Tilly has had an amazing recovery, mainly due to her positivity and determination. Still, we wanted to raise money for two charities that supported Tilly the most."

It was Lottie's idea to run eight half marathons in eight consecutive days to represent the eight days that Tilly spent in a coma.

The pair ended this spectacular challenge at the Great North Run on September 10.

Lottie said she and Emily are feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves about the challenge and hope it will highlight the difficulties brain injury survivors and their loved ones face.

"You feel pretty helpless when someone you love is injured so dramatically," Lottie said.

"This is our way of showing our support and love for Tilly and this amazing journey she has been on. She is our hero.

Although it will be a challenge, it is nothing compared to what Tilly has gone through over the past 15 months, and we are so proud of how far she has come.

I want to raise money for Headway because, as well as the charity being able to help more people with brain injuries, I also want to raise awareness for the lifestyle someone like Tilly has had to adapt to. She has come so far and is doing amazing in her recovery, but it has certainly not been easy.

As a family, we had to learn a lot to be able to support her in this process. I think there are a lot of people don't know about what it is like to live with a brain injury, and we should do more to make people like Tilly's lives easier."

Every 90 seconds in the UK, someone like Tilly is admitted to hospital with a brain injury. Brain injuries can be sustained in many ways, including through strokes, assaults, and falls. Headway – the brain injury association is there for survivors in their time of need, providing vital support and information.

Tilly said:

"With Headway, it's so important to me that these brain injury charities get the recognition they deserve. The work they do not only creates more awareness about brain injuries, but it also helps those who are recovering from their own brain injuries.

"Brain injuries are so common yet so unrecognised in day-to-day life. Many people who struggle with brain injuries, you'd never know what they were going through at face value. It can be so isolating, and it's so nice that charities like Headway really validate the things we struggle with."

If you have been inspired to take on a challenge of your own, check out the links below.

 

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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