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Hema's Captain Tom 100

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Hema's Captain Tom 100

Tue 25 May 2021

Last month the Captain Tom 100 encouraged the nation to take on a fundraising challenge around the number 100 for a charity of their choice, all in the name of fundraising legend Captain Tom.

Hema Vekaria, a solicitor working in the Injury & Medical Claims Department at Anthony Gold Solicitors, decided to take on her own personal challenge for Headway. Here, she shares her experience...

Can you tell us a little about yourself and why the Captain Tom 100 was a great option for you?

The Captain Tom 100 Challenge was the perfect challenge for me to participate in, as Captain Tom was a true inspiration to me during the first lockdown in the UK and got me motivated and exercising during a difficult period.

I suffered a spinal cord injury which resulted in me losing sensation in my legs and experiencing paralysis to my leg. It had been caused by a rupture of an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in my spine which led to a bleed.

A spinal arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a rare, abnormal tangle of blood vessels on, in or near the spinal cord. Without treatment it can cause permanent damage. I spent some time in hospital rehabilitation relearning to walk and building strength in my legs.

Initially I was in a wheelchair, but after some time I built up strength in my legs and began to use crutches to walk short distances.

As part of my challenge I decided to climb up and down my stair case at home, a 100 times each day for 4 days. I set myself a big challenge, but knowing I was fundraising for a worthy cause really motivated me.

What made you choose Headway for your fundraising?

My job as a solicitor involves me representing clients who have sustained brain injuries from accidents including road traffic accidents and accidents at work. I am therefore aware of the fantastic support Headway offers to individuals and families after suffering from the devastating effects of a head injury.

Headway is a charity that is close to my heart after supporting a family member who sustained a brain injury after a stroke.

Can you tell us more about what it was like to do your chosen fundraising challenge?

At first I thought I would not manage to climb my staircase 100 times each day for days. It was certainly challenging but with an end goal in sight it kept me going.

How did you feel afterwards?

Although I had very sore legs, I felt very proud completing my challenge and knowing my fundraising efforts were helping Headway and individuals affected by a brain injury.

I felt satisfied that I had been able to give back to charity, after my own experience of also needing support and assistance after my spinal cord injury.

What advice would you give to other fundraisers?

My advice to other fundraisers would be to take part in a challenge you enjoy whilst fundraising for a good cause. Charities such as Headway need vital funding and donations to do such an amazing job they are do!

If you would like to take on a fundraising challenge of your own and would like some support, please contact the fundraising team on projects@headway.org.uk

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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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