Abby, 30, and her mum Gillian, 51, are taking on an incredible fundraising challenge for their friend Ella, who is a manifesting carrier of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The mother and daughter team are running a half marathon every month this year to raise at least £700 for MDUK. They are over halfway to their fundraising target, which will help support Ella through the TeamElla Family Fund at MDUK.
The money will help fund further research into treatments and ultimately a cure for the condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and they hope their challenge raises awareness of the condition.
“We think MDUK is a great charity and the support it gives to Ella and her family is amazing. The work that it does to support lots of families in the UK is so important,” said Abby.
“I have found out so much about Ella and her condition and the amazing fundraising the family does for MDUK."
The duo are no strangers to running, after starting running together in 2017. To raise even more money for MDUK, they will also complete the Great North Run in September and the Lakeland ultra-trail challenge at the end of July.
We’ve both run the Great North Run separately before, so we felt we needed to up the challenge to encourage even more fundraising – so why not take on a half marathon every month?
Ella’s mum, Clare said: “Abby and Gillian are great friends and when they signed up to do the Great North Run this year, we were so proud they had decided to do that for us. That’s not to mention all the half marathons they are doing every month throughout the year. We know they are putting their all into the running and fundraising.”
But running wasn’t always easy for Abby and Gillian when they first began their hobby.
“I wanted to shed some weight and running was something I could fit in around being a new mum and running a small business. Mum had done a lot of running when she was in her 30s and took on the London Marathon in 2000, but having a young family and working meant she gave it up,” said Abby.
“Together, we first ran a mile from mum’s front door, had a rest, and asked ourselves what on earth we were doing before running back home,”
“That’s how it started – and we kept it up. I had a pram that I could run with so I’d take my daughter Mya, and the dog, Marnie. It didn’t take long until we caught the running bug. Running didn’t just help us physically, but mentally and emotionally too.”
Now, their training is making a huge difference to people living with Duchenne, and their fundraising could help fund new treatments for the condition.
They’re hoping to achieve personal bests in the Great North Run, while raising vital money for MDUK.
“We’re so excited about the Great North Run, but we know we’ll be nervous on the day. I am quite competitive so will be aiming to beat last year’s' time of 1 hour and 48 minutes. Mum is still aiming to finish a half marathon under 2 hours. She's managed 2 hours and 3 seconds in training – which is very close!” said Abby.
Kiera Santry, senior challenge events officer at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Abby and Gillian have really set themselves a big challenge here – to complete a half marathon a month is no mean feat – and we are so grateful.”
“Every penny they raise will make such a difference to the lives of people living with muscle-wasting conditions, like Ella, and will help us fund further research into life-limiting Duchenne muscular dystrophy.”
Sponsor Abby and Gillian today