Inspiring and supporting young people seriously injured through sport

TIM HAMES

My name is Tim Hames.  I am a pharmacist working in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.  I am married and have three sons.  In June 2011, I was taking part in a charity cycling ride in the Peak District.  I went round a corner and clipped a dry-stone wall which flipped me and my bike into the adjacent field.  As soon as I landed, I knew someone was seriously wrong and I couldn't feel anything from the waist downwards.

After a spinal stabilsing operation and three and a half months of rehabilitaion in hospital learning all the skills needed for life as a paraplegic, I returned home.  Whilst I'd been away my wife, Donna, had amazingly organised a complete refit of our double garage into a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.  I returned to work in the pharmacy after Christmas 2011.

I have always loved all sport and at the time of my accident I was training and competing in triathlons.  I tried a few sports after my accident such as swimming and wheelchair basketball but I really wanted to get back out cycling on the road.  I approached the Matt Hampson Foundation in April 2014 explaining my situation.  After meeting Matt and some of the Foundation team, they agreed to fund a handcycle for me and made the whole process of acquiring it completely hassle free.

Since my handcycle arrived in August 2014, I have been busily training for a charity ride to raise some money for the Foundation to say thank you for their assistance and to help them to help others in a similar situation to myself.  I came up with the idea of “50@50”. A 50 mile handcycle on my 50th birthday.  We have chosen a 50 mile route that goes from the Foundation's base near Melton Mowbray back to the pharmacy in Uttoxeter where I work.  I am doing the ride with about fifteen family and friends.  I have been overwhelmed by the generous sponsorship that I have received from so many people and we hope to raise over £5,000.

This is a fantastic charity that is run by people who make things happen quickly for people in need and who don't tie up beneficiaries any paperwork or long-winded application processes.  They have made a real difference to my quality of life by giving me back the sport that I love.

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