SHE MAY have to use a wheelchair. But Bournemouth woman Donna Tuzul isn't going to let that stop her from climbing Mount Snowdon later this month.

On June 22 Donna’s team, The Mixed Bag of Nuts, are taking on the challenging ascent, known as the Snowdon Push, to raise funds for Back Up, a national charity that supports people affected by spinal cord injury.

Donna, age 49, sustained a spinal cord injury in 2015 through Cauda Equina Syndrome – a life-changing medical condition which damages nerves in the spinal cord. Since then she has been a full-time wheelchair user.

Donna will use a specially adapted chair to climb to Snowdon’s peak, with the support of a team comprised of her family and some district nurses whom Donna befriended following her injury. They’ll push together to reach the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, which stands at 3,560 feet.

Speaking about the challenge, Donna said: “Back Up was my rock and my inspiration during my first year post injury, which is why I want to do the Snowdon Push. But, from a personal aspect, it is my ultimate challenge. I have achieved so much in the three years since my spinal cord injury. If I can conquer Snowdon, I can conquer anything! It will teach me the power of determination and hard work, as well as pushing me physically to the limits.’’

Back Up is a leading national charity that inspires people affected by spinal cord injury to get the most out of life. Over 400 highly skilled volunteers and staff make up the team – many of whom are affected by spinal cord injury.

The Snowdon Push involves teams of between 10 and 16 people aiming to conquer the highest point in England and Wales. One member of each team must be a wheelchair user, which means pushing, pulling, and wheeling together to reach the summit and back down again. Last year, 12 teams took on the challenge and collectively raised almost £70,000 to support Back Up’s vital services.

“I had telephone support from one of Back Up’s volunteers - what a life line that was to finally be able to speak to someone who understood my grief, pain and loneliness," said Donna. "I soon joined one of their confidence building courses for five days in the Lake District at the Calvert Trust. This changed my whole attitude and outlook for my future.”

The charity offers wheelchair skills training, an accredited mentoring service, proactive telephone support, life skills and activity courses, and support returning to work or education.

“The Snowdon Push is such a fantastic experience that really brings people together as a team for a good cause. It’s very important for Back Up to have the support of people like Donna,” Alexandra Provan, Back Up’s Event and Challenge Fundraiser, says.

* Donna’s fundraising page can be found here: