• Mon. May 27th, 2024

‘MND Army’ take on monster challenges to help find cure for disease that took friend


Sep 1, 2022

An "army" of warrior fundraisers are undertaking a series of monster challenges in memory of a friend who died from Motor Neurone Disease.

Some 20 adults and children are involved in challenges ranging from a 70-year-old cycling 37k followed by a 1km swim every day for seven days to a hard-working mum-of-three attempting an ultra-marathon at night.

Chris Brailsford died from MND, which currently has no cure, nine months after being diagnosed in 2013.

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His son Richard, from Tower Hill in Witney, said: "It was shocking but actually half of the people diagnosed die within two years.

"My dad went from travelling the world, going to Macchu Picchu, base camp of Everest, to not being able to walk to the shops. He lost over 10 stone in six months.

Oxford Mail:

"I started fundraising back then but since then I've formed the MND Army made up from friends and family from all over, North Wales, France, Norfolk."

Chief among the fundraisers is 70-year-old John Brewster, from Witney, who is trying to cycle 37 kilometres then swim one kilometre in the lake at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club – or 40 lengths of Kidlington pool as back up – for seven days.

He said: "I heard about how evil this disease is, and we were saddened by Chris’s death, only nine months after diagnosis. So I'm doing it for Rich and all the 'MND Warriors'.

"Call me mad but I want to raise as much money as I can to help find a cure."

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Mr Brewster was inspired to take on a 7-themed event by Leeds Rhinos' rugby league star Rob Burrow who wore a number 7 shirt.

Rob was struck down with MND in 2019, in his 30s, and former Leeds captain, Kevin Sinfield famously ran 101 miles in 24 hours for his mate.

Oxford Mail:

Meanwhile Lucie Jane MacArthur, a mum of three who owns The Hair Forum and The Beauty Forum at Madley Park will run an ultra marathon of 100kms in 24 hours at night.

In addition Chris Brewster, John's son, who co-owns the Duke of Marlborough and the Back Lane Tavern in Woodstock, had the idea of putting an optional 50p on the bill at the pubs – an idea that was picked up by MND Association nationally, and has raised over £5,000 of the £26,000 raised to date.

Tower Hill U14s have done a sponsored run with Katrina Bishop running seven big runs with her mum and husband, the captain Ben.

Richard's son Jack has also done 7,777 kicky-ups in seven days and a fundraiser at Tower Hill’s 50th anniversary which raised £3,000 supported by Stuart Bates of 'Spennylympics' fame.

Richard said: "Lucie Jane's an absolute powerhouse. She's not in her 20s and she has kids and a job and so little time. She'll be leaving at 9pm and running 60 miles in the dark in the Peak District where my dad was from.

"And John is amazing and inspiring. He is a grandad – we call him Bionic Brewster."


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