Friday, 19 April 2024
Friday, 19 April 2024

Sky proves no limit for Newcastle-based muscular dystrophy researchers

On Sunday 4 June, a team of researchers at the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, will be jumping 10,000ft in their first charity skydive.

The team which consists of Professor Volker Straub, Chloe Geagan, Jessie Trueman, John Dawson, Lindsay Murphy, and Zoe Laidler, will be taking on new heights in their support of Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK). Helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity, which funds research into treatments for rare, life-limiting muscle-wasting conditions and supports more than 110,000 adults and children across the UK affected by these conditions.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, based at the Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, at Newcastle University, performs world-class translational research to bring diagnosis, care, and therapy to people with neuromuscular disease and has a long-standing relationship with Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Sky proves no limit for Newcastle-based muscular dystrophy researchers
Volker Straub, Director of the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre at Newcastle University.

Volker Straub, Director of the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre at Newcastle University said:

“Our mission statement is about improving the diagnosis, care and treatment for people with neuromuscular conditions. We have a long-standing collaboration with Muscular Dystrophy UK, so it’s great to be able to support the charity and give something back, as they’ve provided much-needed support over the years.”

Jessie Trueman has been working at the centre since December 2022 as a project assistant. Whilst studying at Newcastle University, she met Hayley Andrews, 26, and the pair have been friends ever since. Hayley was diagnosed with ocular myasthenia gravis late last year, after initially suffering from double vision and often becoming lightheaded. After several appointments with her GP, opticians, and at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital, one year on, she finally received the diagnosis.

Sky proves no limit for Newcastle-based muscular dystrophy researchers
Jessie Trueman with friend Hayley Andrews.

Jessie said:

“I’ve seen first-hand how a muscle-wasting condition can affect someone’s life. I remember when Hayley first experienced symptoms, over a year ago, it never crossed my mind they could be for such a serious condition. The process for Hayley to receive a diagnosis has been a long one, but her continued positivity over the last year, and determination to continue living life to the full, has been an inspiration to watch.

“Taking part in the up-and-coming skydive is so important to me to help raise awareness and hopefully help others struggling with undiagnosed symptoms. It’s an exciting way to help MDUK, I hope to encourage others to support such an important cause and what better way to do so, than throwing myself out of a plane.”

Susanne Driffield, Regional Development Manager-North of England & East Midlands said:

“Thank you to the team at the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre for choosing to support Muscular Dystrophy UK by taking part in the charity skydive. You all play an instrumental role in helping to support the muscle-wasting community and I have witnessed the incredible work the centre does. My 13-year-old son, Joe, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2014 and has taken part in clinical trials through the centre.”

To sponsor the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre team please visit their JustGiving page.

For more information, please visit: https://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/ or call the free helpline on 0800 652 6352 (open Mon – Thurs 10am – 2pm).

For more information on the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre please visit: newcastle-muscle.org.

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