Thursday, September 16, 2010

Abseil Challenge

No, it is not me who is going to do the 100ft abseil challenge down Battersea Power Station. Although, it does sound quite fun! It is my eighteen-year-old, cousin’s daughter, Imogen.

What makes this event even more spectacular though, is not just the fact Imogen is afraid of heights but, she will be doing it without her leg.

This is because Imogen has had her leg amputated. She was born with a talipes (club foot) and a deformity of the lower leg. Her parents were told when she was born that she may never walk. The fact that she had no ligaments in the knee meant her knee was only supported by soft tissue. As she grew older this soft tissue could not support the knee and she experienced major problems around the age of thirteen.

Doctors tried to help with various treatments, including carrying out knee replacement surgery, but this did not work. At the age of fifteen, she decided to have the amputation. Although, she does have a prosthetic leg, phantom pains in her stump means she can’t wear it for the abseil as she wont have finished the course of treatment injections.

She said, “Doing it without my leg will make it harder but if I take it slowly, it should be fine. Nothing will affect my abseil, I’m determined.”

The abseil will take place on Sunday, September 26, and Imogen is raising money for the charity, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a humanitarian organisation that works in conflict zones to clear unexploded bombs and disused weaponry. MAG work hard to educate and build futures for people affected by war.

Imogen chose this charity in recognition of those who have lost their limbs from landmine explosions and also because of the work they did in Cyprus to help clear landmines in the aftermath of the Cypriot War in 1974. Her dad (my cousin), Ian, came to England as a child refugee during this time. I remember it well because he lived with me and my family for several years and became my big brother for a while.

To sponsor Imogen, visit

1 comment:

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Just wanted to add to this post that Imogen has now done her abseil. I have been told she was unable to go down backward as it was too difficult without her leg so she actually went down forward, which is absolutely amazing considering she is afraid of heights. I am totally in awe!

Her target was £500.00 for MAG but, so far she has managed to raise a whopping £1,110.00.

Isn't that fantastic? Well done, Imogen.