Clare's inspirational walk for Help A London Child
Clare Forbes contracted Meningitis Menicoccel Sceptismia at the age of 17 and lost her legs from the knee down and part of her vision as a result of being in a coma for six months. But now, against all the odds and many doctors utter amazement, 24-year
Clare Forbes contracted Meningitis Menicoccel Sceptismia at the age of 17 and lost her legs from the knee down and part of her vision as a result of being in a coma for six months.
But now, against all the odds and many doctors utter amazement, 24-year-old Clare will walk 10,000 metres completely un-aided for the second year running at this year's BUPA Great Capital Run for Capital 95.8's Help a London Child on Sunday 15th July in Hyde Park.
Claire is the only female in the world that walks marathons on two false legs, completing the Flora London marathon, New York and Las Vegas Marathons as well as at least 40 other runs of 6km, 10km and half marathons - All Charity.
Clare's determination and happy-go-lucky attitude is truly inspiring. Since contracting the disease she has been told that she'll never walk again and doctors predict that her eye sight will completely go within the next four years.
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Claire says: "I hope to fit in as much charity work as I can before my eye-sight complete goes as I love helping other people, it makes me happy. Another thing I'd love to do one day is to go horse riding."
Clare lives with her mum, step dad and grandmother. Eiffie, 57, is Clare's step dad and full-time carer. She describes him as her hero, "Eiffie does everything for me and without him I would be lost. I link arms with him for support whenever I have done any charity walk and he is with me wherever I go."
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Eiffie recalls "For two months in a coma Clare wasn't showing any sign of life. The doctor arranged for the life support machine to be switched off at 11am on a particular day, when suddenly a consultant saw her pupil dilate slightly and was convinced something must be going on. A further four months past and Clare showed improvement and came round. The doctors explained that 50% of Clare's cerebellum had be destroyed which may result in Clare never being able to walk or talk again. Time went by and they discovered that Clare suffered with chronic dizziness and loss of sight. On top of that, Clare's weight ballooned from a petite 8 to a size 32 due to the effect of the life support machine. She had to have her legs amputated and was told that she'd be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Eiffie, Clare's step dad, a true fighter having worked in the army for over 20 years, said "I was determined that I'd do everything in my power to help Clare walk. I just couldn't accept that he'd be in a wheelchair for good." In January 2004, Clare went on an eight week walking course and returned home being able to walk using prosthetic legs. Eiffie said "Everyone's spirits were lifted when we saw our little girl walking again with a huge smile on her face. I bought her a treadmill to practice at home and she used it everyday. 15 months later Clare said she wanted to take part in the London Marathon! So I said I'd be there with her every step of the way if that's what she wanted to do".
Clare was the first ever double-amputee to complete the London Marathon then six month's later completed the New York Marathon.
Clare had Harmony B2 Unit legs fitted before last years BUPA Great Capital Run, which will enabled her to continue to walk the whole way instead of stopping every two hours to wipe the sweat from the prosthetic leg. . The new leg drains away the sweat, and stops the blistering and swelling that develops when walking for a longer amount of time.
Clare sits upright at all times, even when sleeping as she fears that she'll fall out of her bed. "I get bored a lot of the time as I can't work or do the normal things young girls my age do. I was recently was given a voice-recognition laptop that I love using and hope one day to become a journalist, as people say I am a good speaker - but who knows. I take each day as it comes!"
If you'd like to sponsor Clare or Eiffie visit www.justgiving.com/clareforbes-capitalradiohelpalondonchild
To take part like Clare visit www.capitalradio.com/run. It costs £22 for your place and all sponsorship money raised goes to Help a London Child.