An inspirational mum of two who had a brain tumour removed last week says she feels like “the luckiest person in the world” after launching a bid to compete for her country at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Just last Friday, Ginny Gray (41), of Sutton St James, was in hospital for the successful life-saving operation to remove the 4cm growth.
And as part of her bid to make a full recovery, she’s targeted representing Team GB in dressage having ridden horses since the age of 14.
The former financial adviser, who gave up her job after both her children were born three and two months premature, is classed as level two disability in para sports due to the effects the medication to prevent seizures will have.
Ginny says that after initially feeling “angry and lost” at the tumour diagnosis just a month ago, she’s determined to turn it into a positive.
“My prognosis is good,” she said. “I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
“I’ve got this amazing opportunity and I also know I have really good support from everybody going forward.
“It’s the best possible outcome.”
Ginny and husband John are no strangers to medical miracles.
Their son Alex was born three months premature at 3lb 10oz and daughter Holly two months early weighing 4lb 3oz.
Despite resulting complications and an initial bleak outlook, both are fully healthy and aged eight and three respectively.
Then the family were hit with the further shattering news on February 11.
“I had a headache and the doctor sent me to hospital the day after,” she continued. “My appointment was at 3pm and by 8pm I had been told I had a tumour.
“My husband who works full time as a business development manager for a national telecoms company suddenly had to take over looking after the kids and doing the school runs as my driving license was immediately revoked.”
“He also had to look after the family pets – two Jack Russells, one of which had six puppies, four chickens and our horses.
“My cat also got run over that week so it has all been happening.
“The diagnosis has been hard on us all but we are both relieved that the operation is over.”
But after six weeks of recovery, Ginny will begin to prepare for her Paralympic bid with trainer Caroline Hunt of CHD Dressage and 21-year-old horse The Matrix (aka Maverick) and Digital Matrix (Digit).
The pair won both the classes they took part in at a competition in Four Winds last year despite Ginny having not ridden in the 18 months previous.
She said: “I have the horses and experience but I have never represented my country before and what an absolute honour to have the opportunity to potentially represent Great Britain.
“I am very lucky to be able to use the same trainer, Caroline Hunt of CHD dressage who knew my horse from the day he was born she is a specialist in dressage and para dressage training.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity and I’m very excited.”
Ginny is now on the look out for sponsorship to help fund her venture.
Companies she already has on board include: Hoof Camp Training Livery, SJL Freelance Photography, Nathan Salter Farriery, Lynas Vokes Investments, Caroline Hunt Dressage, Posh Paws Dog Grooming, Stacey Smalley Photography, Theraplate with Moody Mares, Hans On – Human and Equine Sports Massage, PeeWee Saddlery, Sam Jamieson Saddles and Equine Services.
Others can donate via PayPal. Search for Ginny Gray Para Dressage Bid.