Horsham mums to take on charity run in support of boy with rare condition

Horsham mums run for Harrison's Fund - 'Team Austin' from left to right:  Billie Dunlop, Emily Vowels, Sarah Raciti, Maxine Foster, Linda Siqi Zhao and Steph Collins SUS-190810-111638001
Horsham mums run for Harrison's Fund - 'Team Austin' from left to right: Billie Dunlop, Emily Vowels, Sarah Raciti, Maxine Foster, Linda Siqi Zhao and Steph Collins SUS-190810-111638001

A team of mums from Horsham will take on a charity run this weekend to support a friend and fellow mum whose son suffers from a rare genetic condition.

The group of seven mums, from Holy Trinity School in Lower Beeding, will take part in the Guildford 10k on Sunday, October 13, in aid of Austin Foster who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Austin’s mum, Maxine Foster, 46, will also be taking part in the fundraiser alongside Sarah Raciti, 38, Steph Collins, 46, Sarah Chilton, 40, Linda Siqi Zhao, 35, Emily Vowels, 35 and Billie Dunlop, 24.

Maxine said: “I am super excited to have pulled together a team of mums from the local school who know Austin and our family.

“They all appreciate the daily challenges we face, and I really am so proud and thankful for their support.

“We may not be the fastest team, but we are definitely the most dedicated!”

A number of the mums have already supported the charity by taking part in previous running events; Steph ran in the Surrey Half Marathon and Billie took part in the Brighton Marathon, both in 2017.

Billie said: “I am always happy to support the charity and am looking forward to the new challenge and running with the other mums.

“My son and Austin are great buddies and in the same class at school, so it breaks my heart seeing the changes he is going through.”

‘Team Austin’ are raising money for Harrison’s Fund which is named after a local boy, Harrison Smith, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - a rare genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away.

One in 3,500 boys is born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the UK each year and there are currently around 2,500 boys and young men with Duchenne. Their average lifespan is just 20 years and it is 100 per cent fatal.

Money raised will go into the hands of the researchers, who are working to find a cure for children with Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 16 research projects in the US and the UK.

Over 1,000 runners are expected to participate in the community event, which involves either a 10km or 5km run. All participants will be presented with huge, bespoke medals at the finish line.

Laura Morgan, events fundraiser at Harrison’s Fund, said: “It’s so inspiring to see a group of people come together in this way for a common cause.

“Anyone who is a mum can empathise with what Maxine and the thousands of parents like her go through on a daily basis, watching your child’s health deteriorate in front of you.

“But with support from people like this, our charity is one step closer to finding better treatments and ultimately a cure for this awful disease.”

To support the mums, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sarah-Raciti

To run for Harrison’s Fund, visit www.harrisonsfund.com and for more about the event visit http://guildford10k.com

READ MORE: Former Christ’s Hospital pupil makes history with speech at Lord Mayor’s election in London

Horsham Life Saving Club members finish ‘open water’ training