A Wisbech father and daughter will be pulling on their running shoes next month to tackle the Grand East Anglia 10k run in aid of a charity close to their family’s hearts.
Joanne Rider, 25, and dad David, 67, are in training for the run on May 6 in King’s Lynn and have set themselves not the challenge of completing the course but also of raising £1,000 for the Peterborough MS Society branch.
Keen horse woman Joanne has never done any running, and neither has bricklayer David, but the duo are determine to help the charity as a thank-you for all the support it has given them as a family for the past 20 years since mum Sandra was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Joanne said: “I was only about six months old when mum first started getting symptoms. It started with her face going numb, and they thought it might be a stroke. It took a long time to eventually get a diagnosis and that mum had multiple sclerosis.
“Obviously it was a real shock, I was only about five at the time. We joined the Peterborough branch’s support group and they have been fantastic. They organised an MS nurse for mum, who also used to help me by explaining things and making sure I was coping.
“We used to attend a lot of the seasonal fundraising events, which was both a good thing and a bad thing. It meant we met other people with MS but it also used to worry me to see how other people with the disease were deteriorating and I worried about what was going to happen to mum.
“Sadly the group is in danger of folding because it is short of funding, it holds collections but people don’t carry change like they used to so the amount they collect has dropped. We originally set a target of £250 each, but dad has already raised £500 and I’ve got £200, so we are now hoping for a £1,000 between us, which would help the group keep going for a while.”
Sandra has had numerous operations for complications caused by MS and is currently suffering a relapse of the disease which is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability.
She relies of sticks to walk and each relapse leaves her less mobile, but Joanne said: “Mum has done really well, she has battled it all the way. I think me being so young when she was diagnosed has made her more determined not to give in to it. I know she is grateful to the Peterborough MS Society who have helped with equipment and support over the years, which is why we are determined to help them now.”
To sponsor Joanne and David contact Joanne on 07909830180 or send a cheque made payable to the Peterborough MS Society to 22 Osborne Residential Park, Osborne Road, Wisbech. PE13 3JY.