Since his accident in 2005 during an England Under 21 rugby training session, Matt has battled hard to live as normal a life as possible. Paralysed from the neck down and breathing via the aid of a ventilator, it is testament to him that he decided to set up the Foundation so that others who have suffered similar catastrophic injuries through sport can receive support and assistance.
As well as his Foundation duties which include, visiting, mentoring, providing advice and fundraising, Matt delivers inspirational talks to young people and businesses around the country. He is also a forwards coach at Oakham School and Oakham Rugby Club, an ambassador for both the RFU's injured Players Fund and Restart (The Professional Rugby Association's charity). Patron of Special Effect a charity set up to help disabled children communicate through technology.
Claire’s life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident. Claire fractured her neck, dislocated her back, fractured ribs, punctured a lung and got pneumonia. Luckily the neck fracture didn't damage the spinal cord but the dislocation to the vertebra T4 left her paralysed from the chest down.
Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved. Although Claire was determined from the start to make the best out of the situation there were plenty of days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get out of bed. She discharged herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, did a lot of rehab (and still does) and over time she found strength and courage to rebuild her life by finding new interests and work as well as raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for research.
A year after her accident Claire met and later married Dan, they had a baby girl - Maisie. She found some new sports (skiing,handcycling, motorbikes), set up a business and fundraised to help get a cure for paralysis. Claire always says she feels so lucky to have the use of her arms, and seeing so many of the patients in the hospital unable to move at all gave her the drive to fundraise as much as possible.