Paddling to find a cure
A gruelling 200 km charity paddle along the Murray River has kicked off at Cobram.
Melbourne’s Peter Evans and six friends started the Paddle for Friedreich Ataxia upstream at Thompson’s Beach on October 10 to help raise awareness and money for Friedreich Ataxia.
Three days later, they arrived in Echuca; raising $30 000 along the way, which will go towards research into the incurable and debilitating disease.
This brings the amount raised by the crew to $150 000 in seven years.
Mr Evans, who has family connections to Echuca, started the paddle with work colleagues in support of his two nieces, Samantha, 25, and Jamie-Lee Dwyer, 27, who were diagnosed with the disease 16 years ago.
It is an inherited disease, which causes progressive damage to the nervous system, resulting in serious symptoms, including speech and mobility problems.
‘‘FARA does not receive state or Commonwealth government support and relies largely on the family and friends of Friedreich Ataxia patients and generous businesses within Australia and New Zealand to fund its research programs,’’ Mr Evans said.
‘‘Although there has been significant progress towards treatments, today there is no cure.’’
Mr Evans thanked Barmah Hotel’s social club, which raised money for the crew through its raffle, and Morning Glory River Resort for providing accommodation, as well as East Coast Kayaking and Natural Beauty Care Group.
Donations can be made to https://donate.grassrootz.com/ fara/paddle-for-friedreich-ataxia2018/peter-evans-paddle-for-fa/
Prepared to paddle: Paddlers (from left) Peter Brearley, Paul Karema, Gary Suckling, Mark Winnell, Peter Evans and Tony Brook.
Edging down the river: Paddlers arrive at Morning Glory beach at Barmah.