Mums unite for Leeds Abbey Dash

Euan Ashurst, his mum Alex, left, and some of the  group of parents: Lisa Miller, Sandra Cannon, Helen Mauborgne, Shelly Walker, Emma Black, running the Leeds Abbey Dash on Sunday for Euan.
Euan Ashurst, his mum Alex, left, and some of the group of parents: Lisa Miller, Sandra Cannon, Helen Mauborgne, Shelly Walker, Emma Black, running the Leeds Abbey Dash on Sunday for Euan.
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Brave youngster Euan Ashurst has inspired a group of parents to run the Leeds Abbey Dash for charity on Sunday.

A group of 18 mums will join thousands of runners tomorrow for the annual 10k Abbey Dash.

The women are running to raise money for five-year-old Euan who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting condition, just after his third birthday.

His parents set up ‘Euan’s Gift’, an appeal to raise funds to help Euan directly and to provide support for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign - a charity that supports families and conducts research.

Euan’s mum, Alexandra Ashurst said: “We set up Euan’s Gift last year.

“We split the money we raise between the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign which helps provide specialist care managers.

“The other half is to give Euan the gift of memories, making sure he has the best care available, and to let him live a 
normal life with happy memories.”

Alexandra said: “One of the mums running did a 10k before and suggested doing the Abbey Dash for Euan’s gift.

“I haven’t run since senior school so it’s going to be a bit daunting.”

The group will run the course which starts from Leeds town hall, down Kirkstall Road towards Kirkstall Abbey, and back. The dash attracts around 10,000 runners each year.

About 100 children, mostly boys, are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy each year, a condition which weakens muscles as they grow.

Alexandra said: “Euan uses a wheelchair sometimes when he struggles to walk, he can’t run or ride a bike, getting upstairs can be trouble for him.

“We’ve had to make a bedroom for him downstairs.

“There are a lot of hospitals that don’t have specialist care managers which is why we raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

“We were fortunate that Leeds General Infirmary has one and that Euan could get help close to home.”

The Euan’s gift fundraiser has raised nearly £11,000 in donations so far.

It was given a boost earlier this year when Euan’s dad, Warren, of Alwoodley, ran the Jane Tomlinson Leeds Half Marathon with a group of 19 family and friends.

The self-confessed rookie runner joined thousands of runners on the streets of Leeds for the 13.1 mile run in May.

Alexandra added: “Our fundraising has mostly been through running so far, Euan’s dad did the Leeds Half Marathon earlier this year and my brother just did the New York Marathon.

“Next year we’re going to give our legs a break and do some bake sales, we’re organising a charity ball and have some signed football shirts to auction too.”

To donate to the charity ‘Euan’s Gift’ visit the website at gofundme.com/6rllqk.

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