On August 7th 2014, the 11 year old daughter of Berkeley employee Jonathan Cook took part in the Muscular Dystrophy UK's 'Move a Mile for Muscles' fundraiser. The event is designed to allow people to take part whatever their level of ability, using legs, wheelchairs, or any means of propulsion they can. Participants move a mile to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy UK.
The Muscular Dystrophy UK leads the fight against Muscular Dystrophy and related muscle-wasting conditions in the UK. They fund world-class research, provide free information and support, give grants towards equipment and campaign to raise awareness and bring about change.
Cerys was born with Myotonic Dystrophy, a condition which causes the muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing disability. Walking a short distance can be tough for her, but she made this mile long walk. In her words it was "to help the doctors help people like me to keep walking".
Through the generosity of family, friends and many colleagues at Berkeley, Cerys has raised £1,250 directly for the Muscular Dystrophy UK.
It was a lovely sunny evening and around 100 people turned up at the local cricket ground to cheer Cerys on. These included the local councillor and the local newspapers. Around 50 people, including many members of the local running club, walked with Cerys, supporting her with every step. A number of local businesses generously donated prizes for a raffle, which further boosted the total raised. Cerys' efforts have been highlighted by Muscular Dystrophy UK in some of their press releases.
In addition, The Berkeley Group have kindly agreed to match this total, ensuring that her efforts will benefit the Berkeley Foundation's partners, such as Shelter and Street Elite, as well as Muscular Dystrophy UK.
The Muscular Dystrophy UK announced this month that it will award a £177,000 grant to Glasgow University's Professor Darren Monckton, who will oversee collaboration with Quebec's University of Sherbrooke on work to improve understanding of Myotonic Dystrophy. The three-year project aims to enable health professionals to give a clearer prognosis to children and adults diagnosed with Myotonic Dystrophy, giving them knowledge of how rapidly the symptoms of the condition are likely to progress and allowing families to make informed choices for the future. Cerys' funds have gone towards this research.