Meet our team: 2024 TCS London Marathon


A picture of Alan in his wheelchair with a secondimage overlaid featuring Alan and Wheelchair athlete David Weir

The 2024 TCS London Marathon takes place on Sunday 21 April 2024. We are so grateful to our incredible team, who have raised over £30,000 for Back Up so far!

Meet Alan and Sam, two members of #TeamBackUp, who have kindly shared their story with us.

Alan’s story

Five years ago, Alan was told he’d never walk again after surgery damaged his spinal cord. This Sunday, Alan is pushing himself in a manual wheelchair around the 26-mile London Marathon course to support Back Up, a charity that changed his life.

“When I started experiencing back pain that wouldn’t shift, I knew something wasn’t right. An MRI scan found a tumour in my spinal cord. I was given the choice to have high-risk surgery with a 60:40 success rate or to have an MRI scan every six months to monitor it. I decided to have follow up scans, and I was relieved to be told the tumour wasn’t growing.

“But then in early 2019 I was playing football and kept on falling over. I had lost my balance and I knew this was a potential sign that the tumour was beginning to impact my mobility. Another scan found a cyst on either side of the tumour. The surgery was successful, but I sustained nerve damage and a T10 incomplete spinal cord injury. I was told I would never be able to walk again.

“And my stubborn streak came out. You never say never to me. I don’t give up. We adapted our home, and I used the horizontal bars in our toilet to help me practice putting one foot in front of the other. I have become a wheelchair tennis fanatic, I hand cycle and can now walk a few steps on a Zimmer frame.

“I’m raising money for Back Up because they have really helped me since I sustained my injury. They found me a mentor who had a similar injury and understood what I was going through. I also went on their multi-activity course – it was life-changing. I’m now a Back Up mentor myself, a charity ambassador giving talks to local businesses and schools, and I’m hoping to become a Team Leader for their multi-activity courses.”

Support Alan: Alan’s fundraising page

Sam’s story

Sam wearing an orange Back Up t-shirt standing in a garden

Sam is running the TCS 2024 London Marathon

From being a ‘Mr Motivator’ cheerleader for friends to finally running in his home city, Sam is taking part in the 2024 TCS London Marathon after being inspired by his cousin.

Sam said, “I was seven when my 10-year-old cousin Ella was in a car accident. Within minutes of us being home after a family holiday, the phone rang. It was my uncle. I just remember it being really bad news. Thankfully Ella and her mum were alive but Ella had sustained a high-level spinal cord injury. She wouldn’t be able to walk again.

“But Ella was and is amazing. Nothing’s ever prevented her from doing what she wants to do, despite the all the challenges she faces every day. We still went on family holidays together, she’s been sky diving, she’s even got a job at Back Up! Ella’s an incredible role model.

“That’s why I’m running the London Marathon for Back Up. I have been inspired by Ella’s determination, resilience and bravery to not let this devastating injury prevent her from thriving and succeeding in life, both personally and professionally. There’s so much you can do in your life with a spinal cord injury – and Back Up can help you do it.

“The focus is always on what you can’t do as a wheelchair user. It should be the other way around. I have seen first-hand how life-changing a spinal cord injury can be and how valuable the services Back Up provide are. They visited Ella in hospital; meeting a team member with a spinal cord injury was incredibly empowering.

“When Ella was injured, there were very few services available for children. I am committed to raising funds and awareness for Back Up so that other young people with spinal cord injuries may also benefit from greater independence and continue to inspire those around them.”

Support Sam: Sam’s fundraising page

London Marathon 2025

Marathon Day next year is Sunday 27 April 2025.

The ballot for the 2025 TCS London Marathon will open on Saturday 20 April 2024 and close on Friday 26 April 2024.

If you would like to run for Back Up in the London Marathon 2025 or would like more information then please get in touch with our events team at, or call 020 8875 1805

Read more: London Marathon