Join in the Cambridge Town and Gown 10K and help Muscular Dystrophy UK
Rebecca Shaw tells how she has signed up in support of her brother Michael, 21
Cambridge Town and Gown 10K run in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK is open for entries.
It will be the seventh year that the run has taken place and this year’s event will be on October 21, starting from Midsummer Common.
The scenic route takes you through the heart of Cambridge passing many landmarks, historic University college buildings and along the River Cam.
The run is supported by the Cambridge Independent and attracts participants from all over the country, including students, club runners and fun runners. There is also a 3K event.
Rebecca Shaw, 26, has signed up for the 10K run in support of her brother Michael, 21. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing disability.
It not only affects the muscles used for movement, but also the heart and vital breathing muscles, cutting lives short.
Rebecca said: “Michael was diagnosed when he was three years old, after my mum and dad noticed that he wasn’t developing as quickly as he should have been. Because it’s such a rare condition, they didn’t know anything about it, and I was only eight so I didn’t really understand it.
“It was hard but because I was so young and he’s my only sibling, in a way I’ve never known anything different. I didn’t get told the full extent, but I knew that as he grew up he’d lose the ability to walk and eventually he would end up in a wheelchair. That happened when he was about 10 and it was really hard for all of us, but my mum and dad have always been very matter of fact about everything.
“We’ve had a lot of problems though, especially in the last couple of years because Michael’s lost the use of pretty much every muscle in his body. He can’t use his hands any more, which makes things a lot trickier for him. It gets harder as he gets older.
“When I told Michael I was doing the 10K he just laughed at me and went ‘Yeah, right!’ It’s a running joke in my family that I can’t run or won’t run. But I think he’s happy that I’m doing it, and quite proud of me. I know my mum and dad are as well.
“It would be amazing to do it for any charity, but it feels particularly special to do it for this one, so I’m sure that will inspire me to get over the finishing line if I have any trouble!”
The teaching assistant, from Preston, said she was keen to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy and encourage other people to fundraise to help support vital research into treatments and ultimately cures.
The run starts at 10am on Midsummer Common, and costs £25 to enter. There is also a junior 3K which costs £12 and starts at 9.15am.
For information and to sign up, visit the Town and Gown 10K website.