National Citizen Service youngsters to hold Henlow fun day in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK
- Credit: Archant
A group of community-minded youngsters are to hold a family fun day in Henlow this month to support people living with muscle disorders.
The 15 young people from the National Citizen Service will have live music, bouncy castles, stalls and much more at the Henlow Park Pavilion on Monday, August 28.
Proceeds from the family day, running from 10am until 5pm, will go to Muscular Dystrophy UK – a charity close to the group’s hearts, with two members’ families directly affected.
Muscular dystrophy is an inherited genetic disorder that weakens the muscles – and which without the right treatment can result in serious disabilities.
Chloe White, 16, told the Comet: “I am supporting this charity as some of my family members are affected by one of the 60 types of muscular dystrophy.
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“The type my family has is called Becker, and it has meant one of my family members now uses a wheelchair.
“Becker muscular dystrophy only affects males, but females can carry the disorder to male children.
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“In my family it mainly affects the leg muscles, as these are the ones you use the most.”
The condition is caused by the slow production of the protein dystrophin, which helps build up muscles after the natural tears we get after exercise.
This means that those affected cannot take part in sporting activities to the ability of a more able person – exercise makes their muscles tighten and it gets harder and even painful to walk.
The heart, being a muscle, can be affected – and that means annual heart check-ups are vital.
Chloe said: “As it is a genetic condition, my family already knew it was a possibility – so my brother was diagnosed at birth.
“When my uncles were younger, though, they didn’t know about it. They found out through symptoms such as muscle pain, not being able to take part in activities to the ability of others, and struggling with small amounts of exercise.
“The condition affects people in different ways. For example my older uncle is able to walk well and only has muscle pains. My younger uncle, on the other hand, is now having to use a wheelchair to get around.
“Donations to this charity could help prevent this from happening to future generations in my family.”
Teammate Lewis Dickens, also 16, said that muscular dystrophy affected most of his family as well.
He said: “Muscular dystrophy means their muscles deteriorate as they get older, and it has left a few of my family members in wheelchairs.
“That’s why this charity is so important to me, and why I’m supporting it myself.”
Muscular dystrophy is normally inherited from parents and affects more than 70,000 people in the UK.
NCS is a voluntary social development programme for teens aged 15 to 17, designed to help them build skills for life.
This Bedfordshire group has so far raised £1,480 – just short of their £1,500 target – from 29 supporters.
To donate to their total, see justgiving.com/imogen-anthony1.