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Colleagues rally round mum with rare cancer
An Otley woman suffering from a rare blood cancer has been overwhelmed by a show of support from her colleagues.
Five of Margaret Brookes’s workmates at Stockeld Park, including her daughter Georgina, are aiming to raise £3,000 for MPD Voice by completing a 26-mile mara-thon walk in the Yorkshire Dales this month.
MPD Voice gives inform-ation and advice to people like Margaret, 59, who have been diagnosed with a myeloproliferative disorder – the name for a group of slow-growing blood cancers, inclu-ding chronic leukaemia, that affect the bone marrow’s production of blood cells.
Georgina and her colleagues Richard Burgess, Freddie Gabbertas, Ben France and Lewys Forsey hope their efforts, as part of Jane Tomlinson’s Walk for All, will raise some much-needed money for the charity while helping improve its profile.
Margaret, who takes chemotherapy tablets to manage her thrombocy-themia – which only affects about one in 100,000 people – said: “I am overwhelmed that my friends and colleagues are taking on such an enormous challenge – I can’t thank them enough.
“The day-to-day things can be a little more testing than normal, but working in the festive environment of the Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park, with some great people, has really made a difference.
“As this disease is quite rare, you can be left feeling isolated, with a lack of information. MPD Voice has provided me with help and support, and I hope this event will raise more awareness of my condition and the charity as a whole.”
The circular walk from Settle takes place on August 19, and the team has been getting some training in.
Georgina said: “The route takes in two of the three peaks so the terrain will provide a challenge, with some breathtaking views.
“This isn’t something we usually do but we did some of the Otley Walking Festival routes to get ready for it. We’ve already raised nearly £2,000 so we’re on the way with the fundraising.”
As well as asking friends and family for support, the group is being backed by Stockeld Park’s owners, Peter and Susie Grant, who are sponsoring them and have supplied printed T-shirts.
Susie said: “Peter and I often see how much our employees look out for each other, and this group’s fundraising expedition is a prime example, one which we are really pleased to support. It’s a big challenge for a small charity, but one that we know will be pursued with great determination. We wish them the best of luck.”
Visit mpdvoice.org.uk for further information about myeloproliferative disorder and the work of MPD Voice, while Georgina and the team’s 26-mile walk can be supported by visiting the .justgiving.com/26milechallenge website page.