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News Report Page 4 of 17
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Andy has gone the extra Mile - every single day for a year

ANDY Brown, 47, from Southport, has done a fundraising 5k run every day of this last year, in support of Bertie Kay, his young friend who was diagnosed with a rare muscle wasting condition in 2014. He started the run on 18 November 18, 2018, the anniversary of Bertie's official diagnosis for muscular dystrophy. Now he's inviting people to join him on his final furlong as he completes his fantastic challenge in Hesketh Park, on Sunday, 17 November 2019. He works at the Environment Agency and he has run every day, sometimes before dawn, early morning, lunchtime, tea time, evening and some days when he could have been sleeping!

He said:- "If I'm honest I don't really know how I have fitted it in. But by getting into a rhythm and ritual every day and with a very understanding family and a large dose of my natural stubbornness I have managed it. I have run in:- London, Birmingham, Bristol, Lee On Solent, Forest of Dean, York, Wales, Somerset, Preston, Warwick and what feels like every road in Southport! In terms of distance I expect to be about 2360 kilometres or 1460 miles by the end of the final run. This is the equivalent of running to Marrakech in Morocco or 55 marathons! Doing this challenge has been a rollercoaster. Sometimes it's felt great; sometimes it's been hard after long days. Many times it's painful. But whenever it felt hard I always thought of what Bertie and his family have to live with, and what felt hard was nothing in comparison."

Bertie, now 8 years old, has Collagen V1 myopathy (Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy) and Andy is a key member of his support community' Bertie's Buccaneers. Bertie's mum Dr Alison Kay said:- "When your child is diagnosed with a rare progressive illness like muscular dystrophy, time is not on your side. Andy has really grasped the urgency of funding a scientific breakthrough. Despite having a busy working and family life of his own, he has been out there running in the rain and wind, standing by his word to complete this RED challenge. It has meant so much to Bertie, and to us, that someone was willing to do that for him. Thank you Andy."

His condition is a rare, progressive muscle wasting 1 which attacks his strength and mobility and also his ability to breathe. There is hope that current research is seeing us on the cusp of a cure; but as yet there is none.  Charles Horton, Regional Development Manager for MDUK in the North West said:- "Andy has shown such determination in running at least 5km every day for a year in all kinds of weather and on all types of surface. I know from Bertie's parents that they are amazed at how well Andy has done and thankful for his great support. It is Andy's resilience to keep on going and to make a real difference to the lives of people affected by muscle-wasting conditions that must be applauded and I hope he enjoys a good long rest when he completes his year of running."

Claire House Named Santa Dash Charity Partner - Appeal For Fundraisers

Claire House Children's Hospice has been announced as the official charity partner for the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 2019.

HIGHLY regarded as the City's kick start to Christmas, this year's festive 5K fun run takes place. on Sunday. 1 December 2019. starting at 9.30am. from Pier Head Liverpool. Each year, Liverpool is transformed into a sea of red, blue and mini Santas enjoying the inclusive festive experience. The accessible event is open to everyone, and each year attracts thousands of walkers, joggers and runners. The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 2019 is the event's 16th consecutive year and it is now the UK's biggest festive 5K fun run.  Also attending the amazing annual event will be lots of celebrities, plus Finlay Unsworth, Miss Liverpool City Region 2019 and Santa!

With bases in Wirral and Liverpool, Claire House Children's Hospice is inviting Santas to dash on their behalf to help raise vital funds at a time the charity is facing increased demand for its vital support and services. The announcement coincides with the launch of the charity's very own festive fundraising campaign.

Claire House helps seriously ill and terminally ill children live life to the full by creating wonderful experiences and bringing back a sense of normality to family life. By providing specialist nursing care and emotional support, the charity strives to help families smile again when life is tough.

Over the past 6  years, the charity has seen an 84% increase in the number of children using the Hospice; and therefore needs to increase the care it can offer families in their homes, help more children at its Wirral Hospice, and increase the services it can offer in Liverpool.

Laura Fallon, Running and Challenge Fundraiser, at Claire House, said:- "We are absolutely thrilled to be the official charity partner for this year's BTR Liverpool Santa Dash. This is always an amazing event, which really gets everyone in the festive spirit. Everyone who chooses to run for Claire House will help us to make Christmas easier for families facing the toughest of times. We're inviting everyone to do something important this Christmas by joining our team at the Liverpool Santa Dash. If you pledge to raise at least ₤60 for Claire House you can sign up for free; our fundraising participants will also be invited to join us at our Santa Dash Breakfast After Party. Our volunteers and families are looking forward to cheering on our Santas as they cross the finish line on 1 December 2019, while our mascot Claire Bear can't wait to officially start the Mini Dash."

An exciting 5K route will take Santas from Pier Head Liverpool, through the Royal Albert Dock Liverpool estate, and round Liverpool City Centre. They will cross the finish line outside Liverpool Town Hall, where they will be greeted by stilt walking characters and 'real' snow, before collecting their commemorative Santa Dash finishers' medal.

Last year's BTR Liverpool Santa Dash attracted 7,000 Santas, including participants from:- France, Gibraltar, Norway, Switzerland and the United States of America.

That was 1st staged in 2004, the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash was created by BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell. BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. Its portfolio also includes the long established BTR Liverpool ½ Marathon which marks its 27th consecutive year in March 2020; Port Sunlight Road Race 5K and 10K; BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K; and the 52 mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:- "We're delighted to once again be supporting the work of Claire House Children's Hospice. The support they offer at their bases in Wirral and Liverpool, as well as in the wider community, is vital for families when they need help the most. Claire House volunteers can often be seen at BTR events manning water stations or greeting runners with their medals as they cross the finish line, we're very grateful for their continued support."

To join the Claire House team at this year's BTR Liverpool Santa Dash telephone:- 0151 343 0883, email or visit:- ClaireHouse.Org.UK for more details.  You can find out more about this year's BTR Liverpool Santa Dash's website.

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