FUNDRAISING NEWS: Why I Give - Robin Gibbon

Robin Gibbon is a 48-year-old former commercial airline pilot, who was paralysed from the chest down in a car accident nearly three years ago. He recently swam 22 miles over two days for disability charity Aspire.

Why did you choose to help Aspire? My career was cut short in 2001 and I moved from Bournemouth to be near the Aspire centre in Rickmansworth, Herts. Aspire has given me back my life and people travel long distances to attend, so this is a big 'thank you'.

How tough was the swim? I swam backstroke for 25 hours over two days, at Aspire's London-based national training centre swimming pool. It helped to have my own lane, which able-bodied people questioned because they couldn't comprehend the required effort.

How much will you raise? Hopefully around £1,000, although thousands of able-bodied people have been sponsored to swim the distance for Aspire and together we hope to raise £1m.

What do you bring to the charities you help?

I hope to help other disabled people come to terms with their disabilities.

They should get out and get on with their lives because the sky is the limit, even with a broken back.

Do disabled people do enough to help charities? I think they would do more if the Government increased its funding for research into stem cell treatment, which will get people out of wheelchairs and walking again.

Do you consider new approaches from charities? Not right now, because I am helping four or five research projects at Brunel University, including one for Function Electronic Stimulation, which tests the viability of disabled people using electronically powered legs.

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