Pom-pom parade to mark Lisa’s ‘determined’ walk
- Credit: Archant
For a woman born with no hip joints, just standing should be impossible, let alone powering around an athletics track.
But 'impossible' never puts off Lisa Borrett, who was born with cerebral palsy and had never left her wheelchair to stand in the open air.
After years in a 'zombie' state from 38 daily tablets to ease her symptoms Lisa celebrated transforming her life by walking a quarter of a mile around an athletics track, supported by her walker, to raise funds for two causes close to her heart.
When the 34-year-old from Lowestoft stunned onlookers and supporters by completing the lap in a quarter of the time she had expected, she set off again to complete a second lap.
Encouraged by her trainer, exercise specialist Paul Brice, her parents, Jackie and Brian, supporters from charity Centre 81 where she volunteers two days a week, she fought through the pain and exhaustion as a rainbow appeared by the Wellesley Recreation Ground in Great Yarmouth.
'I did it,' she cried triumphantly, as she was cheered over the line by Centre 81 members in their wheelchairs chanting her name and waving pom-poms.
'When Lisa puts her mind to something she is going to do it. She is so determined,' said proud mother Jackie.
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'She's a champion,' said her father, Brian.
It was Brian's treatment by Paul for a lung condition that triggered Lisa's transformation – achieved entirely by exercise and diet - and began her special decade-long partnership with former international hurdler and decathlete Paul.
'Without Paul, I would be six foot under,' said Lisa, who is now learning to drive.
Today, she runs her own lottery-funded venture, Life Take Two, helping disabled people like her access exercise.
Lisa, who lives with her parents in Haven Avenue, Lowestoft, embarked on her walk to raise money for Life Take Two and 'the amazing' Centre 81 in Great Yarmouth.
Lisa was first helped out of her chair to learn to walk eight months ago.
'I spent years as a lump in my bedroom, pumped full of drugs to control my pain and being totally out of it, just watching TV. I was on morphine and so many other drugs and painkillers. Some of them fused my voice box and I could only say a few one-syllable words and do baby babble.
Paul, an ex international hurdler, javelin thrower and decathlete and now director of the BWell gym in Great Yarmouth, was one of the innovators who started GP referral schemes in the early 1990s.
'I had no life. I was like a giant baby in a wheelchair. Paul asked my parents if he could give me a few hand exercises – pulling and squeezing – to see how I took to them.
'He started working with me and, little by little, I was weaned off medication. Suddenly, I was getting out of my chair in the gym twice a week and getting my body moving. It felt incredible.'
Paul has worked with Lisa twice a week at his gym on the Harfreys estate, supporting her to apply for funding.
Paul and Lisa currently work with seven clients at the gym.
Paul, 50, said: 'I am amazed at what Lisa has been able to achieve. Lisa doesn't have a hip joint so to be able to walk at all or support her body weight should be impossible.
'You never know what the human body can manage. That is the exciting thing when you work with people.'
To donate to help Lisa's mission provide similar exercise for other disabled people and help Centre 81's appeal for its new building, visit mydonate.bt.com/events/lisawalks/255548To find out more visit: www.lifetaketwo.co.uk