Debbie Burrells, who has raised almost £5,000 for the MND Association, despite battling the deadly Motor Neurone Disease (MND), has now inspired two other Bedford businesses to raise money for the charity.
The Colour Shop in Castle Road raised around £400 of much-needed cash in a Christmas Raffle after hearing Debbie’s story: “We were very touched by Debbie’s story and ran a Christmas Draw with a display in the shop to raise awareness and raise funds for the MND Association,” said Michele and Charlotte who run the family business.
Meanwhile, prominent local estate agent, Nick Kier of Lane & Holmes, is organising a 24 hour, 150 mile relay race around the boundary of Bedfordshire on Easter weekend.
The Bashing the Beds Boundary sponsored race will include a team relay covering the entire 150 miles and a five mile event for general runners along the final leg in the Picts Hill House estate in Turvey.
Speaking about his event, which will also raise money for the MND Association, Nick said: “Two years ago we organised seven marathons in seven days for seven charities. Debbie’s brother Rob, who ran all seven and got me round them, told me Debbie has MND and asked what we could do. Bashing the Beds Boundary is the result.
“We are hoping that companies in the [Bedford] town centre and beyond will sign up to put relay teams in the 150 mile circuit, or smaller groups will join the final five miles.”
Debbie Burrells will be a familiar face to many in Bedford for being part of the well-known local family who run Kempston’s, Kitcheners Marina and Garage.
When struck with MND Debbie was determined to not let it get the better of her and launched a campaign to help others and raise awareness of MND.
She told us: “Although plagued with acute exhaustion and severe muscle weakness which often confines me to a wheelchair, nothing is going to stop me.”
She’s already organised a cake sale at St Paul’s Church, Bedford and a garden party, with support from other local business: “So much has been given by staff at Bedford’s Beales department store, Centre Parcs, Bedford Swan Hotel and Lotus Spa, Hobbycraft and Jewellery by Jade.
“I have been so truly humbled by kindness from retailers in Bedford, family and friends.”
Debbie’s cruise themed event on 12 January will feature a steel band, Bedford Sea Cadets & Royal Marines Cadets, a casino, table-top tombola, raffle and a typical cruise ship-style delicious spread.
Debbie now faces losing her capacity to communicate as the MDN worsens. She is already having to be fed through a tube as she cannot swallow.
If anyone would like to donate direct to Debbie’s local fund to support MND Association please go to her Daisy Chain fundraising page here.