Thursday, August 30, 2007

Amputee To Walk For Thame Charity

AN AMPUTEE who lost an arm and a leg while clearing landmines in Mozambique, is currently cycling from the Thai border to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, to help raise funds and awareness for the Thame charity, The Cambodia Trust.

Chris Moon MBE's fundraising will help the Cambodia Trust to provide prosthetic (artificial) limbs, wheelchairs and the opportunity to go to school for many Cambodian children disabled by landmines, polio and other conditions.

"In 1993 I was clearing landmines for a charity in Cambodia and I saw the terrible circumstances in which Cambodian disabled people struggle to survive," explained Chris. "In 1995 I learned the importance of artificial limbs when I lost my lower right arm and leg walking in a supposedly clear area in a minefield in Mozambique."

Moon has undertaken a number of extreme challenges to raise funds for the Cambodia Trust, including a 300-mile run across Death Valley. "I’ve witnessed the work of the Cambodia Trust first hand for more than ten years. It’s a very worthy organisation doing excellent work," he added.

The Cambodia Trust is a UK Registered Charity, established in 1989 and runs rehabilitation centres, community-based rehabilitation projects, and Prosthetics and Orthotics education centres in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and East Timor.

To sponsor Chris Moon:

To make a donation to the Cambodia Trust:

Chris Moon MBE : Biography

CHRIS Moon studied Agriculture with a development bias, worked as a volunteer at a centre for the homeless and then joined the army. On leaving the army in 1993, he began work for British charity the HALO Trust, clearing landmines in Asia and Africa. Whilst working in Cambodia in 1993, he was abducted by Khmer Rouge guerrillas with two Cambodian colleagues. He is one of the few Westerners to have survived the experience, avoiding execution and negotiating their release from a remote jungle base, finally walking 50km overnight through patrolled and mined jungle.

In 1995 in Mozambique he was blown up by a landmine while walking in a cleared area. He lost his lower right arm and leg, but does not consider himself a victim because he chose to work in mined areas, “whereas people who live there have no choice”. Doctors say he survived against the odds because of his high level of fitness and his knowledge of first aid. After leaving hospital he did a Masters Degree in Security Management at the University of Leicester.

In 1996 Chris was awarded the MBE from the Queen for services to the HALO Trust, clearing anti-personnel mines and received a bravery award from Diana, Princess of Wales. In 1998 he received the US Centre for Disability and PALM international leadership award. In March 1999 Lord Snowdon honoured Chris with the Snowdon Special Award for his leadership and support of disabled people. He has also been awarded honorary degrees and doctorates by the universities of Plymouth, Leicester and Exeter.

Less than a year after leaving hospital, Chris completed the London Marathon to raise funds for land mine-injured people in Cambodia. In April 1997 he was the first leg amputee to complete the 250km Great Sahara Run, described as the toughest footrace on earth, raising £100,000 for an International Committee of the Red Cross centre providing prosthetic limbs in Vietnam. He carried the Olympic torch into the stadium in the Nagano Winter Olympics in Japan in February 1998 and ran from Hakone to Tokyo to raise funds for a Japanese charity. In April he started and ran the Flora London Marathon (the first person to ever do this), captaining a team of 500 runners raising funds for charity. In September 1998 he completed Australian’s ‘Outback Challenge’ to raise funds to support mine action programmes. In 1999 he ran the length of Cambodia (700km), supported by a team from the Red Cross, to challenge attitudes towards the disabled, to raise funds and to support requests for the Cambodian government to ratify the Ottawa Treaty.

In July 1999 he was the first amputee to complete the Badwater Death Valley Ultra-marathon. In April 2000 he jointly led a party climbing Kilimanjaro on a new north route. In May 2000 he completed the 100km Kumamoto volcano run in Japan and in July 2000 was one of only 12 people in the world to do the Death Valley 300 miles, from the lowest point of the USA continuously on foot to the highest point and back again in just over six days in temperatures over 130 degrees Fahrenheit. He did it again in 2001 to test false legs and is one of only a handful of people in the world to complete this double desert crossing twice.

Chris Moon established his own company, MTB (Making The Best - his philosophy in life), and is a well-known speaker on the subjects of change management, motivation, leadership and challenging the concept of limitation. His autobiography, ‘One Step Beyond’, was published by Macmillan in 1999.

Chris' story was shown on Channel 4 television in September 2006, as part of the ALIVE series. For more information please visit Channel 4's website:

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