NRAS

Caring youngsters walk 35km for charity

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WHILST most of us were relaxing this Sunday, a team of four Sale children completed an incredible challenge to raise money for The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.

They joined together at the beginning of the summer holidays to begin fundraising and have already surpassed their own target of £200 with plans to raise even more in a variety of innovative fundraising events.

The four youngsters, three of which live on Exmouth Road, completed 250 laps of the cul-de-sac – an amazing 21.1 miles or 35km.

The walk took 8 hours, 47 minutes and 42 seconds.

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Determined to complete the whole distance they completed the challenge despite some minor injuries along the way.

Best friends, Molly Nugent and Emily Marshall, both 10-years-old, decided to raise money for the charity as Emily’s mum, Nicki was diagnosed with the painful disease twenty years ago and the girls wanted to help others in the same situation.

During a sleep-over Molly and Emily discussed ways in which they could raise money and awareness for RA and decided to support the great work offered by NRAS.

Emily said: ” We don’t like to see anyone in pain, especially my Mum. No-one should suffer with the pain caused by this disease and we want to raise money to help people with RA, and to find a cure.”

They were joined by Emily’s cousin, Dani Heywood, 12 and neighbour, Luke Weader, 10-years-old, to become a determined team of four.

Dad even helped out and manned the refreshment table, as well as marking off laps on a very large tally chart.

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As a team they organised and hosted a table top sale, selling home-made lemonade, cake and biscuits at a bargain price of 20p each.

Ingenious Emily even began to charge people to enter the house and between them they raised just over £14.

Next up was the sponsored walk, Molly had suggested they do 500 laps of Exmouth Road originally but fortunately their parents thought this sounded rather a lot and it was agreed they would do 250 laps.

This turned out to be a good decision as when Graham, Emily’s Dad, measured the distance of a lap it transpired that 250 would actually total over 20 miles and would obviously take quite some time…

Around the 18 mile point the girls began to struggle, Molly had pulled a muscle and Emily’s feet were swollen. Asked if they wanted to stop the walk Emily replied: “People with RA suffer pain everyday, they can’t just walk away from it. I am going to finish this walk for Mum and others like her.”

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Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease, affecting 690,000 adults in the UK. It is a systemic disease, which means it can affect the whole body and internal organs. RA is more common than both multiple sclerosis and leukaemia although it often is misunderstood as they do not get much publicity.There is currently no known cure.

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Nicki, 39, said: “Support from the community was overwhelming. Most of the cul-de-sac were out cheering the children on and I am so proud of all four of them.”

Diagnosed at 19, Nicki has struggled with the pain of RA for many years. Through lack of publicity there are many misconceptions about this disease.

Nicki has agreed to the following pictures to be shared for the first time, in a bid to raise awareness of the reality of living with RA and to dispel the ignorance that sadly surrounds this misunderstood disease that could affect any of us at any time…..

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The team are now busy planning a fundraising tea party, to be held during the last week of the summer holidays.

The tea party will be held on Exmouth Road and there will be refreshments and delicious home-made cakes for sale.

Tickets for the event are priced at £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children, numbers are limited and early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

For tickets or to offer a donation to the tea party, please contact: michellekiami@aol.com

Donations can be given direct to the teams chosen charity, NRAS, via justgiving.com/EmilyMollyDani

For more information on Rheumatoid Arthritis see The NRAS website.

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