Lochaber ladies on their bikes for vi­tal charity fundrais­ing

The Oban Times - - News - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

THREE Lochaber ladies have cy­cled 50 miles to raise money for a charity high­light­ing the ef­fects of a ge­netic dis­or­der af­fect­ing one of their sons.

Amy Ful­ford, Lucy Swabey and El­speth Ber­ardelli took part in the Ed­in­burgh night ride at the week­end rais­ing more than £1,300 for Ac­tion Duchenne, a charity sup­port­ing Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy (DMD).

El­speth’s son, Gior­gio, 12, is the driv­ing force be­hind the fundrais­ing af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with DMD in 2008.

Mum El­speth said: ‘As ever, our driv­ing in­spi­ra­tion is the ir­re­press­ible Gior­gio. He con­tin­ues to amaze ev­ery­one around him with his strength of char­ac­ter and sheer grit. Whether it’s ski-ing, bik­ing, swim­ming, danc­ing or what­ever goal he’s set him­self, he re­fuses to give up, how­ever dif­fi­cult his body makes things for him.

‘When Gior­gio was di­ag­nosed with Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy in 2008 our world was turned up­side down. With this new ter­ri­ble di­ag­no­sis, com­bined with his com­plex heart con­di­tion, we felt the fu­ture was bleak. How­ever, since then, largely due to the tenac­ity and en­thu­si­asm of Gior­gio him­self, we have got our­selves back on track and feel it is im­por­tant to be proac­tive in fundrais­ing and in­creas­ing aware­ness of this con­di­tion.

‘ We have been cy­cling to­gether for sev­eral years but of­ten it’s been more about the tea and cakes than rack­ing up the miles. How­ever, in our con­stant quest to fundraise and in­crease aware­ness of DMD, we de­cided it was time to make our bik­ing mat­ter.’

Lucy told the Lochaber Times: ‘We got on re­ally well and made good time.

‘Our ususal rides are about 10 miles so this was a big chal­lenge for us, es­pe­cially try­ing to fit in train­ing around work. Hav­ing the sup­port from the com­mu­nity has re­ally helped.’

El­speth said since the last big fundraiser there have been promis­ing re­sults in the re­search into find­ing sig­nif­i­cant treat­ments and ul­ti­mately a cure for DMD.

She added: ‘ As ever, time is against us and fur­ther progress is de­pen­dent on cash in­jec­tions from char­i­ties such as Ac­tion Duchenne.

‘Your con­tin­u­ing love and sup­port is very much ap­pre­ci­ated by us all. With­out your help, ev­ery­thing would be so much harder.

‘With only 100 boys born with Duchenne Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy in UK ev­ery year, it is not deemed im­por­tant enough to merit sig­nif­i­cant gov­ern­ment fund­ing, so pub­lic fundrais­ing is vi­tal.’

Be­fore the event, the three ladies did a train­ing ride around Ach­nacarry, with Janet Sidg­wick pro­vid­ing a fundrais­ing lunch for the group and friends.

The three ladies at the train­ing lunch be­fore the Ed­in­burgh night ride.

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