Pad­dling to find a cure

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Ivy Jensen

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.grass­ 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.

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