Families living with the degenerative brain condition Huntington’s disease (HD) have been given a boost after two childhood friends from Laurencekirk completed the Virgin London Marathon.

After months of training Dionne Winter and Julie Ann Marshall successfully completed the grueling 26 mile course raising a total of £6432 for the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).

“I really hate running so this really was a huge challenge for me. Just knowing that the money I raised would go towards such a great cause was all that kept me going at times,” said Dionne, a director at Headnorth Consulting who have chosen the SHA as their charity of the year.

The company deliver recruitment services and market intelligence to the oil and gas, power and construction and property industries across the UK.

SHA is the only charity in the country that works with families affected by the disease providing lifeline services, including specialist nurses and the world’s only HD youth support service.

HD is a hereditary progressive condition that causes changes to muscle control, thinking processes and causes long-term mental health issues. Those living with the condition will require 24 hour care as it progresses into its later stages, there is currently no cure. It is also hereditary with each child of someone diagnosed with HD is at a 50% risk of developing the condition themselves.

There are estimated to be 1,100 people in Scotland living with the condition but as many as 5,000 could be potentially at risk.

Dionne crossed the line with lifelong friend Julie Ann whose mother has HD.
“I know from my own experience that every penny of this money will be used to improve the lives of families living with HD every day. The support the SHA provides is nothing short of lifeline,” she said.