Month-long challenge for firefighter in support of father living with MND


Release date: 26 May 2021

A firefighter will take on a 500km challenge throughout June in support of her father who was recently diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Beth Parry-Evans, a Watch Manager at Littlehampton Fire Station and a retained firefighter based at Shoreham, is preparing to complete 500km of exercise between June 1 and June 30 to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

She will be running, hiking, rowing and cycling throughout the month as she aims to raise £5,000 for the charity.

Beth has drawn up a gruelling schedule to help her meet her goal, including a 46km cycle to and from work, the Hove Park Run and a hike from Seaford along the Seven Sisters to Eastbourne.

She is also planning to carry out a cycle tour of the service's day-crewed fire stations at East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Shoreham.

But this fundraiser is just the warm-up for her as she prepares to cycle the length of Britain from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall later this summer.

Her father Mike was diagnosed with the condition in August at the age of 75, and Beth said this had spurred her on to find a way of supporting the charity that will hopefully one day find a cure.

She said: “I am planning lots of different activities to take the pressure off different muscle groups, but it is going to be an intense month.

“It’s a disease with little recognition, and when the diagnosis came last year, it was a shock. We know that it is too late for our family, but hopefully in the very near future there will eventually be a cure for this disease so that no-one else has to suffer the effects of motor neurone disease.

“I can’t change the diagnosis, and I can’t find a cure. All I can do is push myself and inspire people to support my fundraising so that charities like MNDA can continue researching for a cure.”

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “What Beth is planning to do is nothing short of inspirational. Taking a terribly difficult situation and trying to create something good out of it takes real strength. I think there are times when we could all channel a little of this approach in our lives when things become difficult.

“I wish Beth the very best of luck. I know that June is going to be an incredibly draining month for her – both physically and emotionally - but we will be backing her all the way.”

Beth is encouraging people to take part in her planned activities – you can find out more on her planned schedule by following her on Twitter.

You can also support her fundraising on her JustGiving page

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