Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday will lend her support to pioneering medical charity Spinal Research throughout 2012.
The British-based Californian, who combines careers as a racing driver and 3 Day Eventer, was inspired to get behind the cause after friend and fellow equestrian Ruth Mathieson was paralysed from the waist down following an Eventing fall last April.
Founded in 1980, the charity raises money for research into clinical treatments that will improve sensation and mobility following spinal cord injuries. They also provide support to families in the wake of their loved one’s impairment and altered circumstances.
Every day three people in the UK and Ireland are told they will never walk again; their lives and those of their families are changed forever.
Spinal Research offers hope to those 50,000 people living with a spinal cord injury. It can affect anyone regardless of age, race or sex, though it does disproportionally concern young adults aged 18–24.
The focus of Spinal Research is to find an effective treatment for spinal cord injury that not only improves sensation and movement for people living with paralysis but also brings us closer to finally conquering it.
Spinal Research’s branding will appear on the front and sides of Liz’s race car and overalls as she tackles the Lotus Cup UK championship, as well as on the horse transporter she travels with to all of her equestrian competitions.
Liz, the most successful female driver in American Le Mans Series history and three-time Le Mans entrant, has already contested two rounds of this year’s Lotus Cup UK. This included a stunning comeback drive at the season-opening Silverstone event where she charged from dead last on the grid to take second in class.
Liz has also enjoyed strong Eventing results of late with a sensational showing at the Borde Hill Horse Trials capped by victory in her BE100 section. She is hoping that through continued success in both her equestrian and racing exploits Spinal Research can receive the greatest possible exposure.
Liz Halliday: “As an equestrian and racing driver I am all too aware of the risks my chosen sports carry and, on occasion, have witnessed first hand how spinal injuries can affect lives. Ruth in particular brought this home to me and I am proud to call her my inspiration.
“Given the vital work they do in this area, I am humbled to be carrying Spinal Research’s logos on my car this season. I hope that this small gesture can play a role in their continuing efforts to improve lives.”
Isabel Long, Spinal Research Corporate and Campaigns Fundraiser: “We are thrilled that Liz has pledged her support to Spinal Research. By helping to raise awareness of our groundbreaking research charity’s work into spinal cord repair, she is playing a significant role in bringing to the public’s attention our work to end the permanence of paralysis. This is an exciting time for us as we stand on the brink of applying therapies that will restore feeling and mobility, transforming the lives of paralysed people. We appreciate all of the support that Liz is giving to Spinal Research and her ambition to encourage others to get involved and support us too, both of which will help to bring us ever closer to this goal.”