'I feel proud I've stepped out of my comfort zone'

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Image of Ray Christian smiling
Throughout Volunteers Week 2022 (1-7 June) we have been spotlighting some of MDUK’s many incredible volunteers. Ray Christian tells us about his 9 years of volunteering with MDUK, with his wife Barbara.

I’ve been volunteering with MDUK for 9 years now in the North West Muscle Groups and more. MDUK has been so important to me over the years, and I’m so passionate about supporting people who have a condition similar to mine in every way I can.

When I was finally diagnosed with rare genetic channelopathy and neurological myotonic condition in my early 50’s, MDUK was there for me when no one else could give me answers. They provided information and resources about my rare condition, and I started going to the muscle group meetings to meet others who had similar conditions.

Over time, I was asked by MDUK staff to chair the meetings. My role has developed to Chair Person of the North West Muscle Groups – among other contributions - which really gets me out of my comfort zone. As a relatively shy person, it’s not natural to me to take on a leadership role like this but the support from MDUK has allowed me to use my experience of living with a debilitating condition to help others in a similar position.

I feel proud I've stepped out of my comfort zone because I've achieved something worthwhile that improves someone else’s quality of life and wellbeing. In turn, this allows me to stay positive and feel hopeful that we can learn from each other, share experiences and suggest strategies to cope.

Without MDUK’s support throughout my journey, I don’t know where I’d be. They have helped me to stay positive and motivated while living with a condition that can make life hard. It’s now my passion to help others with similar conditions to live life to the fullest and I feel so fortunate I can contribute to this through volunteering with MDUK.

My wife, Barbara, is also involved in the Peer Support Groups. Barbara is my carer and together we hope we can help make more people aware of the amazing work MDUK does, not just for those who are diagnosed but those who are caring for people with muscular dystrophy too.

I hope I can inspire more people to volunteer for MDUK be it through fundraising, support groups or any other way. You will help your peers, carers, and community in ways you never thought possible and provide invaluable support to others who are waiting for a helping hand.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You will be guided every step of the way and offered free professional training to make a real difference to people’s lives.

If you’d like to volunteer with muscular dystrophy, please get in touch at volunteering@musculardystrophyuk.org