Meet our past President’s Award winners
Fundraiser of the Year – Sean and Liz Keenan
Sean and Liz Keenan, whose three young sons have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, set up their family fund, I FIGHT FOR JAMES, more than three years ago. Together, they have raised more than £80,000, which is all going towards Duchenne research.
In 2018 Sean completed a 100 mile canoe challenge, navigating the River Wye over 4 days. Not only that, but he roped in 11 friends to join him and raised more than £11,000.
The family have organised a series of fundraisers, including sponsored skydives, Christmas fairs and running the London Marathon. Sean even trekked to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, all to raise money for pioneering research.
Campaigner of the Year – Fiona Anderson
Fiona Anderson, blogger and Trailblazer, has helped us campaign for better and more accessible facilities, particularly Changing Places toilets.
When you’re out and about, you shouldn’t have to worry about what you’re going to do if you get caught short. But for more than 250,000 people in the UK, disabled public toilets simply aren’t adequate.
Fiona Anderson is one of these people. Fi has a muscle-wasting condition called multiminicore myopathy and is unable to use regular disabled toilets because they are too small to accommodate her powerchair.
She shared her story with The Guardian and live streamed her search for a Changing Places toilet on social media. She uses her blog, Life of an Ambitious Turtle, to regularly raise awareness of the Changing Places campaign.
Community Award – MDUK Tavistock Branch
This group is collectively helping to make a difference to people’s lives.
Every year for the past 40 years the group takes 12 young people on a week-long holiday break in the UK and they cover all costs thanks to their tireless fundraising.
It is an incredible and selfless act. Many of the young people who enjoy these breaks need 24 hour care and may not be able to get out and about as they would like. These breaks give them a sense of independence and the opportunity to make friends, reducing isolation and boosting their mental wellbeing.
Overall Achievement – Liz Williams
Liz was diagnosed with a type of muscular dystrophy called FSHD in 2004. She is an active supporter of MDUK and works with us to develop information and resources to increase understanding of FSHD and wider issues affecting all people with muscle-wasting conditions.
She is also one of our peer support volunteers and helps many other people with FSHD overcome challenges they may face.
Liz is Chair of the FSH Support Group.
Richard Attenborough Award for Outstanding Achievement – Sue Barker OBE
Through a great friendship with Lord Richard Attenborough, Sue became President of Muscular Dystrophy UK (then the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign) in 2004 and Honorary Life President in 2018. Sue is an invaluable representative for the charity and, during her time as President helped to raise the profile of MDUK, met hundreds of supporters, attended countless charity events and encouraged others to become involved and support the charity.