A BRAIN injury survivor has been described as ‘admirable’ for taking on the 2.6 challenge for charity.

Anita Williams, from Oxford, walked 26,000 steps and threw a basketball into the basket 26 times within five minutes last Sunday to raise funds for Headway Oxfordshire.

The 52-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018, after a discovery was made following an MRI scan for Pseudo Dementia, but has raised more than £1,000 for the brain injury charity.

Ms Williams said “What an amazing day. It has been brilliant stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself to try something new. I thought I had lost the ability to do this and I would never be able to leave any type of legacy.

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“I challenged myself to walk 26,000 steps instead of 2.6km as I wanted to push myself. I also wanted to add an element of surprise, so I challenged myself to throw a basketball into the basket 26 times within an hour on the same day - I had to rush to do it before sunset.

"In the end I walked 32,000 steps and I hooped the ball 26 times in five minutes."

The 2.6 Challenge is aiming to help charities that are struggling in the current climate, with many fundraising events being cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic.

It came about after the London Marathon was cancelled and the idea is that people choose a challenge related to the numbers 2.6 or 26 - the number of miles in a marathon and the date the event would have taken place.

Ms Williams added: “When I heard about the challenge, I was in two minds worried that it would cause an unpredictable mental overload, multi-tasking confusion and cognitive stress anxiety.

“However, my husband and daughter said they would support me, which gave me the courage and determination to give it a shot. The challenge was tough but fun, and I have now improved my street cred with my children.

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“Headway Oxfordshire need all the support they can get during these unprecedented times. Their services give people back their dignity, strength to fight against all odds, and give people an opportunity to smile again."

Jamie Miller, Headway Oxfordshire’s chief executive, said: “To see Anita persevere through such a challenge, is a moving tribute to both Anita as an individual and all the great work that the Headway Oxfordshire team do to support those affected by brain injury to regain lost skills and confidence to achieve.

"Our team fully appreciate how difficult a time this is for those we support and by giving back, Anita is helping us to continue to do all that we can to support our wonderful Headway Oxfordshire family.

“As always, the provision of our services – both now and in the future – rely on the generosity of fundraisers and donors. We would like to say a huge thank you to Anita for taking part in the 2.6 Challenge.

“We’re asking the people of Oxfordshire not to forget the charities out there working through this difficult time and if you can, please donate and help us to help those affected by brain injury across the county.”

For more information about Headway Oxfordshire and its services go to headwayoxfordshire.org.uk.