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Issue:- 9 February  2012

Patients in Mersey and Southport offered support from TVís Dr Hilary Jones

RESIDENTS in Mersey and Southport suffering from a life-threatening disease are being offered the chance to gain expert advice and have their questions answered from one of the UKís top GPs, Dr Hilary Jones. 

Dr Hilary, who regularly appears on ITVís Daybreak and This Morning programmes, will host an online consultation for sufferers of vasculitis, an incurable disease which inflames and destroys blood vessels. It affects 1 in 30,000 people in the UK.

Organised by the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation, the online conference will be held on Wednesday, 15 February 2012, at 5pm GMT. The conference is free to take part in and family and friends of those affected by the disease are also welcome.

The Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation was set up in memory of Lauren Currie by her parents Grant and Adrienne whose aim is to raise awareness and funds for medical research into this incurable disease as well as providing support for those living with the condition. Lauren sadly died from vasculitis when she was 15, tragically just 48 hours after she was diagnosed.   The 3rd in a series of online consultations organised by the charity, aimed at bringing support to sufferers of the disease, is also open to local GPs who wish learn more about early diagnosis of the disease.  Grant Currie, said:- "This is a great opportunity for those affected by vasculitis to be able to ask questions to our guest speaker, Dr Hilary Jones. If just one person benefits from this online conference it will be worthwhile as it could make a huge difference to these patientsí lives. Sadly, Lauren was diagnosed too late to benefit from such an event Ė she lost her fight for life less than 48 hours after her diagnosis; but we hope for sufferers living with this condition, we can provide a place for advice, support and guidance. Vasculitis is still a relatively unknown disease and research into it is still at a very early stage. As such a rare disease, researchers are dependent on the likes of Laurenís foundation to partly fund research in the UK." 

For free registration for the conference should be done online.

Southport Kids are being Urged to get on their bikes in a national competition

KIDS, parents and teachers across Southport will be getting on their bikes for the journey to school this March as part of Sustrans Big Pedal; with top prizes up for grabs for the schools that involve most people. 

The Big Pedal is the UKís biggest school cycling competition to get kids active and raise money for the charity Sustrans.  Nearly half of all children want to be able to get to school by bike, but only 4% do; the 3 week competition will show children and their parents just how easy it is to get around on 2 wheels.

Peter Foster Sustrans Regional Director for the North West said:- "Last yearís Big Pedal saw children from more than 800 schools across the UK making nearly a million journeys by bike. This yearís race will be see even more families discovering just how easy it is to do the school run on two wheels. Children that cycle to school regularly are more active and more alert and better learners."

The race is funded by Bike Hub, the Association of bike traders. Phillip Darnton Executive Director of the Bicycle Association added:- "The future of cycling depends on every generation of kids learning and wanting to cycle. What better way to get started than joining in the Big Pedal. The cycle industry through its Bike Hub levy is delighted to fund this event for another year. 2012 is a very special year; the Big Pedal marks the start if the Summer of Cycling; a new campaign bringing together everyone who cycles and encouraging them to introduce one new-comer to cycling during the year. Thatís why the Big Pedal is aiming for 1000 schools to sign up and one million journeys to be made."

To get your school involved in the Big Pedal go to:- thebigpedal.org.uk.

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