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Tuesday, 29 September 2020


Manchester United Girl’s run 464 miles and raise over £7,000 for coach with fatal disease

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The talented team of footballers collectively ran, cycled or walked 464 miles in two weeks raising over £7,000 for their beloved coach and Head of Girls Football Development, Emma Fletcher, who has inherited the life-altering and fatal illness, Huntington’s disease.

The members of the Manchester United Girl’s Regional Talent Club, Under 11 Squad took on the challenge of covering 15 miles each over two weeks however they beat this target in the first week alongside their fundraising target of £250, which they beat in the first day! The girls now have a target of £10,000, over £7,000 of which they have already raised, all for the Huntington’s Disease Association.

Huntington’s disease is a rare neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system and is caused by a faulty gene passed down through families. Described as having motor neurone disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease simultaneously, Huntington’s causes changes in the brain affecting movement, feelings, thinking, eating and speech. There are around 8000 people in the UK with Huntington’s, 282 of them from the Manchester area, and around 32,000 people at risk of developing the disease.

11-year-old Dixie Thirde from Rossendale and member of Manchester United Girl’s Regional Talent Club, Under 11 Squad said:

“Me and my teammates really enjoyed this challenge although it was very tough. The thought of supporting Emma and other people with Huntington’s really pushed us on to help us collectively cover over 450 miles. We can’t believe how quickly and how far the message was spread about the team’s challenge, and we’ve been amazed by the generosity that people have shown with their donations. So far, we have raised over £7000 but we are hoping that this keeps rising closer to our £10,000 target. All of the team enjoyed meeting up in small groups and running with Emma and some of her family and friends. It’s been an incredible 2 weeks and without the support of Emma, our families, friends and lots of people that we don’t even know, then this wouldn’t have been possible. A huge thank you to everybody!”

You can donate to the girl’s JustGiving page here.

Coach, Emma Fletcher, after one of the fundraiser runs

Joanne Dobbie, Head of Fundraising said:

“We are delighted and thrilled at the amazing efforts of the Manchester United Girl’s Regional Talent Club Under 11 Squad and all that they have achieved in just two weeks! It has been fantastic to see how they have taken on the challenge, spread awareness of Huntington’s disease and raised over £7,000 towards our work! The donations will help us to support the thousands of people affected by Huntington’s disease across England and Wales, especially through this period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19.”

Huntington’s disease is rare and devastates families. COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on the Huntington’s Disease Association’s fundraising efforts and is threatening our ability to help and care for those affected by the disease. Fundraisers like this help us provide essential services to people who are affected by Huntington’s, acting as a lifeline in times of need. Please donate and help the girls reach their target today!

To support the girls’ challenge please visit their JustGiving page. To learn more about their fundraising see ‘Manchester United Girl’s Regional Talent Club, Under 11 Squad fundraise for coach with Huntington’s disease’.

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