Jenny (left) and Dan (right) training for the TCS London Marathon 2024 in support of Horatio’s Garden charity.

Two incredible fundraisers, Cheltenham-based Jenny Walford and Telford-based Dan Braddock are sharing their inspirational TCS London Marathon stories in support of Horatio’s Garden charity.

Horatio’s Garden Midlands at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, was a lifeline to both Jenny and Dan who both have family members affected by the devastating impact of spinal injury. Now, both are determined to give back to the nationwide charity to support more people facing similarly challenging times throughout the UK by running the world famous TCS London Marathon on 21 April 2024.

Jenny and Dan are also supporting the Horatio’s Garden Spring Forward Challenge, a brand-new fundraising event encouraging people to set an individual or team fitness challenge this April. Whether strolling through the park, racing through your neighbourhood, or rolling along a scenic route, the challenge offers a way for people to get active around their day-to-day life, have fun, and help Horatio’s Garden to improve the lives of people affected by spinal injury.

Jenny’s story

Jenny was inspired by her cousin Vik to take part in this year’s TCS London Marathon. Vik spent months in hospital following a diagnosis of Endocarditis (an infection in her heart), until a decision was made to operate. During surgery, Vik’s heart stopped, with doctors working for 18 hours to save her whilst the family waited for news, fearing the worst. Thankfully, she survived, but complications meant that due to a lack of blood supply to her spine, Vik lost the use of her legs.

With her heart the primary concern, Vik initially remained on a cardiology ward while trying to come to terms with being newly disabled. After a gruelling few weeks, it was a relief for Kidderminster-based Vik and her family when she was transferred to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, which was in Jenny’s words, “a fantastic place that gave us all hope.”

 It was here that the family first found solace all together in Horatio’s Garden Midlands. It wasn’t long before Vik began to return to being her old self, entertaining the ward, planning for the future, and vowing to never say “no” to anything because of her wheelchair. Since leaving hospital, Vik’s life has resumed in ways she never imagined. Marking almost exactly a year to the day that Vik was finally discharged from hospital, Jenny will be running the TCS London Marathon.

Jenny (left) with her cousin Vik (right) spending time with their friends and family in Horatio’s Garden Midlands

Jenny says: “It means everything to me that I get to represent Horatio’s Garden at the 2024 London Marathon. My cousin Vik is so dear to me and we watched her life get turned upside down when she lost the use of her legs during heart surgery. What followed was a painful journey, but we were given hope when she was transferred to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and Horatio’s Garden.”

 “These wonderful spaces are where people who feel like their lives have just ended learn to live again and see a life worth living. Not only that, but they provide the most comforting and enriching place for friends and family to reconnect with their loved one after such a traumatic event – you truly forget you’re in a hospital and heal together. The thought of Vik and the countless others these gardens help is what will get me through my first marathon.”

Speaking of her support for the Spring Forward Challenge, Jenny says: “I love the Horatio’s Garden Spring Forward Challenge! Running really helps my mental health and it’s made all the better knowing you’re supporting such a brilliant charity at the same time. I love a slow run – perfect for the mind and spring wildlife watching – I’d encourage anyone who thinks running isn’t for them to give it a go and support Horatio’s Garden in providing beautiful and vital outdoor spaces for people who really need them.”

Dan’s story

Dan’s father spent almost a year rehabilitating at the world-renowned Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, where he and his family also first discovered Horatio’s Garden.

Dan (right) pictured with his Shrewsbury-based parents prior to his father’s spinal injury.

With visiting limited by lockdown restrictions, the garden was an immense source of support not only for Dan’s dad, but for his mum too.

Sharing his story, Dan says: “My dad’s experience at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital came during the pandemic and was a really difficult time for us all. Having the outdoor space to spend quality time with my mum was a real blessing. They both love gardening and it was amazing that they were able to enjoy Horatio’s Garden together.”

“Both my mum and my dad have completed the London Marathon, dad in 1990 and mum in 2011. I feel so fortunate to have a place in this year’s race and when it came to choosing a charity, Horatio’s Garden was at the top of my list.”

Dan’s desire to participate was reinforced following his own recent stay in the Cardiology ward at Royal Wolverhampton Hospital.

He says: “For almost a week and a half I had no access to the outside world. The staff were wonderful, but it is not an experience I would like to repeat. It brought into sharp focus what somebody like my dad experienced.”

 “Since recovering, I am back training for the marathon. I live in Telford, so I am lucky to be able to make the most of the town’s award-winning park. I love being close to nature and since my dad’s spinal injury I’ve realised how difficult it can be for people in wheelchairs to experience that same feeling.”

 “Horatio’s Garden gives people the chance to feel close to nature and I am delighted to be taking on this iconic event in support of the charity. I hope it will give some respite to those who are hospitalised at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.”

Dan added: “Spring is a time when the world comes back to life. It’s also a great time to get out and be active. Everyone has their own thing. For some it’s walking, others may enjoy an adventure on two wheels, or for some it’s an opportunity to get out and run. Whatever your choice, please consider raising money for Horatio’s Garden as part of their Spring Forward Challenge.”

To find out more and register for the Horatio’s Garden Spring Forward Challenge, visit

To donate to Jenny’s fundraising page, visit

To donate to Dan’s fundraising page, visit