Diane's charity running challenge for Holehird
10 September 2015
Valerie Harrold — a veteran of London, Boston and New York marathons — was paralysed from the neck down two years ago after falling 150 metres from a cliff during a walking holiday in Austria.
For the last 14 months Valerie has been at Holehird, our care home in the Lake District.
Before the accident, Valerie was a keen runner and, with her family, founded the Bentham Beagles Running Club in North Yorkshire.
This weekend, her daughter-in-law Diane Armstrong is taking on both the Great North Run and the Langdale Marathon to raise funds for Holehird, which supports Valerie with 24-hour care.
As well as being paralysed, the injuries Valerie sustained included a severe brain injury and left her partially sighted. The brain injury affects Valerie’s ability to swallow, and she is fed through an intravenous pump.
Diane says they are glad the home has use of a physiotherapy team three days a week.
‘Prior to her accident, Valerie was one of the fittest ladies I knew in their 60s. Age was very much just a number to her and it never stopped her setting and reaching new goals.
‘She was a keen runner and took part in over 20 marathons including London, Paris, New York, Boston, Malta and Disney World. She also competed in the Great North Run on several occasions and loved the atmosphere there.
‘Valerie was the one who got me running. She made me believe I could achieve and more importantly enjoy the runs.’
By doing both the Great North Run and the Langdale Marathon, Diane will be running a total of 39.3 miles over the weekend!
‘My target is to raise £350 for Leonard Cheshire Disability but I really hope to exceed my target.’