Pad­dle raises al­most $30,000

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Ivy Wise

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.grass­­dle­for-friedre­ich-ataxia river­ine­


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:

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