This week Natasza Telfer, 30, will be taking on our 100k London to Oxford Trek. She will have 30 hours to walk the lengthy distance. Natasza, who is an ex-servicewoman, will be completing the trek on crutches after an injury left both of her legs and hips with extensive muscle and nerve damage.
Natasha has been determined not to let her injury, which ended her army career in 2007, stop her. Following her injury she spent a long time in a wheelchair, but has built up her strength to walk using crutches, despite being in excruciating pain. She has also got back to work, working for Your Fitness magazine and keeps herself active with weight-lifting and over the past six months training for our London to Oxford trek.
Natasza comments: “I joined the army when I was 16 years old – it was my whole life for seven years until I was injured while on tour. I didn’t want the injury to take over my life – no matter how much pain I am in I want to keep living my life as normal. I go to work, I am really into fitness, and now I am taking on this challenge for the BHF.
“Five years ago my granddad, Peter Patelech, 93, had an operation to replace a valve in his heart. It wasn’t until this happened that I really realised how serious heart disease is. Thanks to research funded by the BHF I have been given so much more time with my grandad.
“I really wanted to do something big, to not only raise awareness of the impact of heart disease, there are around 7 million people in the UK living with this, but to also raise as much as possible to help the BHF continue its vital research. Without the BHF I may not have had the last few years with my granddad. Each year the BHF are investing more into research to give families like mine more time together, it is incredible to see how far treatments have come.
“I will be walking with a guy I served with in Iraq. I know it is going to be incredibly hard, I have been training for six months, going out for long walks with my mum – she has been incredible throughout my training, keeping me going. I know the recovery afterwards is going to be tough, but knowing how much I have raised for the BHF will make it worth it.”
We organise a number of treks across the UK, if you have been inspired by Natasza's story why not take on your own challenge?
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