Daughter of a man with muscular dystrophy invites anyone to join a Thames path fundraising walk 

Lucy Anderson

Lucy Anderson’s father, Philip Anderson, has a progressively disabling muscle wasting condition, which is unresponsive to any treatment. Philip is now a full-time powered wheelchair user. Doing the fundraising walk has really helped Lucy’s concerns.

She and her mother started the 184-mile-walk, from the source to the Thames barrier, in February 2020. They planned to finish by September 2020, but COVID delayed them.

They restarted with the second section in October 2021, the third in November, and they plan to finish the walk on 4th September 2022, which is her father’s birthday.

They have already surpassed their target and raised over £5,000 and hope they will raise considerably more.

Lucy, 28, a Senior Corporate Responsibility Executive, found it hard to watch her father’s condition develop. She says planning and starting the walk is making a huge difference.

I hate the feeling of doing nothing. It has made a huge personal difference to me to be raising money for MDUK to fund vital research. I hope that the conditions can be better understood and treated in the future. It is also wonderful and comforting to have so much support and so many donations from people.

She loves getting out of London to walk in the countryside and thoroughly enjoys getting into the fresh air. It has become a great bonding exercise for her and her mum and she is thoroughly looking forward to being joined by friends and family, as well as colleagues, including people she has not seen for years, to walk together.

She said, 

My father has a rare muscle-wasting condition. In the past he was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis but has been told it is progressing in a way more characteristic of Motor Neurone Disease. The reality is that these conditions are so rare they can only receive a ‘best-fit’ diagnosis. His particular condition is not yet recognizable, treatable or curable.

She is not looking forward to the next 16-mile section after the first 16- and three-quarter miles which was tough going. She is also not looking forward to it ending.

I am thoroughly enjoying having a goal to aim towards and I will be very sad when it has been completed. I would welcome anyone from the MDUK community who would like to join us.

The only training she is doing is walking day-to-day and she says her new boots are proving very comfortable!

Lucy has divided the walk into fifteen sections, and you can see the sections, plus read more about their story and contribute to the fundraising, here.

Louise Moffat, MDUK Regional Development Manager – London, South East and East England said,

Lucy raised such an incredible amount of money before they had even started their challenge I was devastated for her when they had to put it on hold. It is fantastic that they have managed to restart, and they are at the £5,000 target already. Fundraising can be very cathartic for people, and it is great that Lucy has found some solace in it. I would like to wish her and her mother a huge good luck and thank them for their challenge and very much look forward to joining them for one of the later stages.

Philip Anderson is an MDUK volunteer who writes a regular blog, hosted by Independent Living here.