Paddle raises almost $30,000
SEVEN friends have paddled into Echuca, marking the end of their 210km Murray River charity paddle.
Melbourne’s Peter Evans and six of his mates started the Paddle for Friedreich Ataxia upstream in Cobram to help raise awareness and money for Friedreich Ataxia.
The three-day challenge raised almost $30,000, which will go towards research into the incurable and debilitating disease.
This brings the amount raised by the crew to $110,000 in six years.
FA is an inherited disease which causes progressive damage to the nervous system, resulting in serious symptoms, including speech and mobility problems.
Mr Evans, who has family connections to Echuca, started the paddle with work colleagues in support of his two nieces, Samantha, 25, and JamieLee Dwyer, 27, who were diagnosed with the disease 15 years ago.
‘‘Their health is severely compromised. They are both wheelchair bound and they have both lost (and will progressively lose more) muscle function leading to greatly reduced life expectancy,’’ he said.
However, the young women have graduated from university and continue to inspire others.
‘‘They work hard at not being defined by their disability and they continue to want the same things most of us want out of life — happiness, friends, travel. They recently fulfilled an ambition to go to the snow and experience skiing,’’ Mr Evans said.
He thanked Barmah Hotel’s social club, who raised money for the crew through its raffle, and Morning Glory River Resort for providing accommodation.
Donations can still be made to donate.grassrootz.com/fara/paddlefor-friedreich-ataxia riverineherald.com.au
MEET THE TEAM: FARA chairman Peter Evans (left), Andrew Lawson, Tom Lawson, Peter Brearley, Paul Kurema, Mark Winnell and Gary Suckling arrive in Echuca, marking the end of their 210km Murray River charity paddle. Photo: