Some 40,000 paraplegics and quadriplegics in the UK – and the numbers swell by 3 every day – are confined to a wheelchair for life – and many, understandably, succumb to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Colin Javens, paralysed from shoulders down in an accident in 2000, used a tiny movement in one wrist to drive again and to launch “Driving Home”: an inspirational fund-raising journey, with him at the wheel, from Stoke Mandeville Hospital to Cape Town.
It also inspired him to form his registered charity, The Colin Javens Spinal Injury Trust – to raise funds for research into cures for spinal cord damage and for organisations involved in the rehabilitation and welfare of those paralysed by spinal injury. The Trust is also registered as a Charity in Jersey, due to the Patrons and Trustees’ connections there. One of the Patrons of the project, David Croisdale-Appleby, says (read more>>)
And it inspired the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to the honour of electing him a Fellow and putting its full support, financially and morally, behind his expedition. (read more>> )
“Whilst I received fantastic help and treatment at Stoke Mandeville, I now see how medical advances and research into spinal injury are held back so much owing to very limited funding.
And that is despite very promising potential research breakthroughs. For example the charity Spinal Research has a programme aiming at clinical trials on humans and possibly to a spinal injury repair centre.
So by using my disability I am “Driving Home” a message to improve the public’s awareness of spinal injury and also to raise enough money to make meaningful contributions to well researched and promising initiatives. My aim – to restore hope to people in the same situation as me.”
His expedition is a world first for someone with his degree of disability. He has raised £534,000 so far and all of the costs of the expedition have been underwritten. Colin’s fundraising target is £1,000,000 but the demand for funds is enormous. All monies raised from now on will be used so that his charity’s targeted initiatives can be well supported and he can “make a real difference”.