Climbing for a good cause
A TEAM from Swindon have braved the peak of Mount Snowdon to raise funds to find a cure for muscular dystrophy.
Michelle Dawson and a group from Synergy Health took on the challenge for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.
It is a subject very close to Mrs Dawson’s heart.
The team scaled the 3,560ft mountain in North Wales last Saturday, and are driving to achieve their fundraising target.
Mrs Dawson’s husband, Ed, suffers from Becker’s muscular dystrophy, a recessive inherited disorder which weakens the muscles around the legs and pelvis.
Their two daughters are also carriers of the affected gene, while Mr Dawson’s brother also suffers from the disorder.
Mrs Dawson said she knew nothing about the disorder until she met her husband, and as soon as she realised how it would affect him she committed herself to finding out all she could and helping him in any way possible.
“From day one I knew Ed had a unique walk, and after a month I got the confidence to ask what was wrong with his legs,” she said.
“He told me he had Becker’s muscular dystrophy and I did not have a clue what that was. I thought it might be something which would go away with a little treatment.”
By chance she found a group in Swindon to support people with muscular dystrophy.
“While searching the web I found that there was a seminar day happening, so I put our names down to attend,” she said.
“I was a little nervous about attending the seminar, and on arrival it hit me. Some of the men there were in wheelchairs and unable to walk.
“I tried to get Ed the things he was entitled to, like a blue badge, which made his life so much easier by being able to park closer to where he needed to be.
“His legs began to get worse. He fell a lot for no reason and would not hold our baby unless he was sitting down, worried he might fall. Simple things we do every day seemed to be a struggle, but he found his way around it.
“By 2010 I could tell Ed was struggling with the stairs, and his walking got really slow. He was assigned an occupational therapist, who said in the future Ed would need a stair lift, wet room and wheelchair access.”
Mrs Dawson has accepted the hurdles, and pledged to do what she can to support her family and others who suffer from muscular dystrophy.
“I have learned how to fight for my family,” she said.
“Ed’s condition isn’t going away, and he will be in a wheelchair in his 40s. My girls are carriers and will need tests in later life. But I wouldn’t change anything. I will do all I can for their cause.”
The team was Michelle Dawson, Tina Stapleton, Josie McNally, Chloe Fryszka, Adam Smith, Rikki and Laura Hunt, and Charlotte Burne.
They are hoping to raise at least £500 for the charity to help research the condition and help find a cure. To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/ teams/snowdon280913
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