Race to beat muscular dystrophy

On Saturday September 6, Collie resident Margaret Swan will join a group of forty dedicated mountain bikers and blaze the trails of Dwellingup in an inspiring race to beat muscular dystrophy - the condition which has robbed her nephew of the ability to walk. 

Individuals are taking on the 14, 40 or 100km track at the Act-Belong-Commit Dwellingup 100 on September 6 and will ride for someone who can't ride. 

Ride for Someone Who Can't is the major fundraising and awareness initiative for Muscular Dystrophy WA, which matches a rider in the event with a person who has muscular dystrophy.

Mrs Swan will ride for her three year old newphew Charlie, who has congenital muscular dystrophy. 

Due to significantly weakened muscles, Charlie is unable to carry out tasks which most other children his age do with ease. 

He has never crawled or walked, but zooms around in a seriously cool Lightning McQueen car built by his Dad, Steve.

On the ride, Mrs Swan will be joined by Charlie's parents - brother, Steve Hughes and Jodie Hatherly. 

Together with a group of 13 in total, they form 'Team Charlie'.

Since 2010, in excess of $360,000 has been raised through the Ride for Someone Who Can't campaign. 

This year, the Muscular Dystrophy WA team is aiming to raise $110,000 to support people living with the condition, for research, and for community services. 

Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular, genetic disorder which results in the progressive deterioration of muscle strength and function. 

There are in excess of 70 types of muscular dystrophy affecting more than 20,000 Australians.

Western Australians living with muscular dystrophy face daily challenges - their muscles waste away which steals their independence, they are confined to electric wheelchairs because they can no longer walk, and each day, it becomes more difficult for them to breathe.

Muscular Dystrophy WA CEO, John Gummer, who is riding in the event says, "The recent and untimely deaths of two young men with muscular dystrophy have highlighted the urgent need for improved services, vital research and targeted support. 

"We simply cannot provide these necessities without funds raised at events such as Ride for Someone Who Can't at the Dwellingup 100," Mr Gummer said.

"It requires the commitment of our riders and the generosity of the broader WA community."

Together they will ride and together we will beat muscular dystrophy.

To make a donation to Muscular Dystrophy Western Australia visit: https://rideforsomeonewhocant2014.everydayhero.com/au/team-charlie