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TOWIE star to run marathon in aid of paralysis cure charity

PUBLISHED: 12:27 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 02 April 2019

The Only Way is Essex star aims to complete the London Marathon in four and a half hours. Picture: LIZ ADAMS

The Only Way is Essex star aims to complete the London Marathon in four and a half hours. Picture: LIZ ADAMS

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A reality television star from The Only Way Is Essex is running the London Marathon in aid of a spinal chord injury charity after his dad was nearly paralysed after a freak accident at home.

Chris Clark's parents, Barry and Amanda. Picture: CHRIS CLARKChris Clark's parents, Barry and Amanda. Picture: CHRIS CLARK

TOWIE star Chris Clark is set to complete the marathon on April 28 in support of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), a small charity which helps people who suffer spinal chord injuries.

While climbing a ladder to retrieve a toy for his granddaughter in 2017, Chris’ dad Barry fell and suffered a horrific injury to his spine.

After complications during a nine-hour surgery, the Clark family were told that surgeons would have to remove pieces of fractures vertebrate from his back and that if one of them touched his spinal chord, he could be permanently paralysed.

Fortunately, his dad is now back to his normal life after making a full recovery, but the traumatic event has motivated Chris to complete the London Marathon.

The Only Way is Essex star Chris Clark aims to complete the London Marathon inaid of Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. Picture: LIZ ADAMSThe Only Way is Essex star Chris Clark aims to complete the London Marathon inaid of Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. Picture: LIZ ADAMS

He said: “My dad’s always been the person in the family who helps everyone else, but he fell off a ladder and severely hurt his back.

“Thankfully the surgery was successful, but it has shaken us as a family and made me realise how suddenly life can change. The things we take for granted can so quickly be taken away from us, which is why I want to help others who are paralysed by supporting the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and funding research for a cure for spinal cord injury.

“I’ve been training since January and it is going well. The difficult part is the mental side.

“Trying to run for two hours can be boring and I’ve been listening to music and podcasts to keep myself occupied.

“I also have a knee injury that has caused me a bit of trouble as well.”

The London Marathon will take place on April 28 and Chris is aiming to finish inside four and a half hours. He has also set a fundraising goal of £5,000.

Mike Milner, chairman of NSIF, added: “We are enormously grateful to Chris for taking on this epic challenge.

“We believe in a future where there will be a cure for spinal injury, and we thank Chris for his support and wish him the best of luck for the marathon.”

Donations can be made to Chris’ webpage here.

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