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A local mum who was warned she may never walk again has helped raise more than £700 cycling for the charity that helped her recovery.
Fiona Fraser of Blaven Court, who was paralysed when she broke her neck in 2016, organised a four hour ‘spin-a-thon’ at Forres House Community Centre run by fitness instructor Debbie Hutchinson, featuring 32 participants on behalf of Spinal Injuries Scotland (SIS).
She said: “It was lots of fun – we had loads of support from family, friends and fellow spinners.
“Participants on 11 bikes at an hour-a-time paid £10 each to which all went to the Spinal Injuries Scotland charity. They could do more than an hour if they liked – some did two while Chris Sutcliffe, Debbie and I did the full four!
“At various times, we did hard tension, standing, squatting and hovering back on the pedals which made it even harder. It was all done to a varied soundtrack – the squat track for example was Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down which burned our leg muscles!
“Everyone did amazingly well with some great encouragement from family and friends that kept us going. Thank you to everyone!”
Six years and nine months ago, Fiona was paralysed from the chest down after breaking cervical nerves four and six in a diving accident.
She was told she would never walk again but left the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Glasgow five months later on two feet and determined to find a good PT instructor to continue her rehabilitation.
She said: “Debbie and others have helped me and I’ve been doing my own rehab. When I started spinning, Debbie used to help me get on and off the bike. Sometimes spasms would throw me off but with determination, support and love for the class, I fought through it… and I’ve just completed a four hour spin-a-thon!”
Debbie has been long impressed by Fiona’s years of determination.
She said: “Fiona is incredible! From hearing she would never walk again to doing everything she does now is outstanding.
“She is a very inspiring woman – she’s so sparkly and positive. The world needs more positive influences like her.”
Fiona confirmed exercise helps alleviate her pain and has made her fitter than ever.
She said: “My husband and biggest supporter Stewart says I’m never home as I swim two miles-a-week and I’m out on my bike every weekend on top of pilates, spin and PT sessions!
“The longest recent cycle I’ve done was from Skye bridge to Kessock bridge – 78 miles. The next one will be around Loch Ness on the Etape at 66 miles.”
SIS is a charity that aims to help people with a spinal cord injury live their daily lives in a more equal, inclusive environment. It delivers programmes and projects designed to best meet the needs of its members following immensely challenging rehabilitation.
A spokesperson said: “We are over the moon with the success of Fiona’s Spinathon. The contributions are greatly appreciated and will go towards helping us continue to provide advice, information and education for people with, both new and long term, spinal cord injuries.
“It’s donations like this which allow us to really touch the lives of our members, their friends and family. We would like to thank Fiona and all the other spinners involved for their hard work and effort, it means the world to us.”
Fiona is now a peer supporter for the charity.
She said: “My family is always there for me and I’m so lucky to have such a great support circle which keeps me going.
“I will always be partially paralysed but it doesn’t stop me doing what I want. I just have to adapt and do it at a slower pace!”
Donate to Spinal Injuries Scotland at https://www.spinalinjuriesscotland.org.uk/donate/donate/5/credit-card.