Poignant run and ride in memory of farmer who fought disease
- Credit: Suzanne McFadzean Wedding Photography
Claudia Pearse and her daughter Catherine Chown rode and ran a half marathon to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Early in 2018, Claudia’s husband Frank was diagnosed with the cruel and devastating motor neurone disease.
Until the diagnosis the 72-year-old was a strong and fit farmer, still working on his family farm. This incurable disease slowly took away everything, first his strength so he was unable to work and do what he loved.
His speech, ability to swallow and breathing slowly deteriorated too and every day became a struggle. He never complained nor made a fuss about what he was going through.
He lost his fight for life in October 2019.
Claudia and Catherine, Frank’s daughter, picked their route based on Frank’s life. Their challenge passed significant locations: Frank’s birthplace at Challenger Farm in Membury, then through Membury village where he went to school, to church and rang the church bells. The bells were rung in memory of Frank as they passed through the village.
They ran and rode past Longbridge, where he played skittles at the Longbridge Inn with his brother John.
And they concluded at Park Farm, which had been his home and farm for 40 years.
For the last three miles of the run and ride they were joined by family and friends, including Frank’s other children and grandchildren.
Catherine said: “I wanted to raise as much as possible so hopefully one day there will be a cure or better treatment for MND so others do not have to suffer as dad did.
"Mum and I would like to thank all of those family and friends who have so generously supported us and helped on the day.
“Together we raised over £5,000 via donations, a raffle and after-the-event teas and cake sales in the barn at Park Farm.”
If you would like to support Claudia and Catherine with their fundraiser, help to find a cure for MND and provide support for patients and families, you can donate via their just giving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/catherine-chown-claudia-pearse