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25 May 2010
Alumni staff stride out for a challenge

University staff members Helen Foster (Social and Cultural Studies, 1994) and Eleanor Duthie (Classics, 1989) are preparing to walk 200 miles on a coast-to-coast challenge.

And, as alumni of the University they need your support via their Just Giving page. 


They’re walking the famous route from St Bees Head in Cumbria across to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire next month to raise money for the University’s research into Multiple Sclerosis.

Helen’s father suffered from MS and when he died in 2008 she thought it seemed a natural extension to use the walk to raise money for research into the disease. Her father’s illness was not diagnosed for a number of years because of the then limited technology available.

Eleanor Duthie and Helen Foster

“It's a cause very close to my heart as my father lived with it for 30 years,” said Helen.

“The University is using its MRI scanners to differentiate between MS, Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone diseases up to 3-4 years earlier than is currently possible. This will enable individuals to receive condition-specific medical support earlier which, in turn, will improve quality of life for them and their families.

“We’d both like to say a huge thank-you to all the people who’ve sponsored us so far – we’ve had some fantastic support from University staff, students and alumni and been overwhelmed by their generosity. We’ve already broken our original target and it looks like we’ll beat our current one – any further help will be greatly appreciated.”

The pair will start their walk on 11th June and expect it to take them around 12 days although the timetable also incorporates a foot and leg massage!

“Knowing that we have the support of so many people on the walk will really help to motivate us when the going gets tough. But knowing that, with our sponsors, we are helping in the fight against this terrible illness, will simply be the very best motivation we could have.”

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