Former Kyle Academy pupil Deborah Beaton has smashed the £6K fundraising barrier to help families living with a devastating neurological condition.
Deborah completed this year’s Virgin London Marathon in 4 hours 38 minutes in aid of Scottish Huntington’s Association, the only charity in the country supporting families impacted by the degenerative neurological condition Huntington’s disease (HD).
Chemist Deborah, left Drongan for Edinburgh University when she was 18 but still has close family ties in Ayrshire.
Her older sister Donna was diagnosed with HD in 2012. ‘She was displaying symptoms from a young age, since her 20’s she was always clumsy and knocking things over. She is now wheelchair bound and it is a daily struggle for her and her partner Roan, I know the support they get from the SHA is invaluable so I just wanted to raise as much money as I could,’ said Deborah, who now lives in London.
SHA supports HD families through a national network of specialists, a world leading youth support team and its financial wellbeing service.
HD is a complex condition with symptoms that typically begin to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. It causesthree main groups of symptoms: changes to thinking processes – a type of early onset dementia, loss of muscle control and involuntary movements which lead to loss of speech and swallow along with mental illness. Those impacted by HD may eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or make decisions and will eventually need 24 hour care. It is also hereditary with each child of those diagnosed at 50% risk developing the disease. There is currently no cure.
It is estimated there are around 1100 people living with HD in Scotland and up to 6000 potentially at risk.
‘I had an amazing experience running the London marathon, as a runner it was a lifetime ambition of mine. The atmosphere on the day was fantastic and the support from the crowd was unbelievable and really kept me going when things became tough. I’m very grateful to everyone who sponsored me and helped me in raising so much money for such a great cause, I’m particularly grateful to my employer Butterworth Laboratories for their significant donation’.
Deborah is having a rest next year but is hoping to be back on the fundraising trail for London 2020.