Woman to scale peaks to fight disease

A Budleigh Salterton woman is taking on a charity walk to help fight the disease that killed her mother.

Rebecca Sharples, 38, will be taking on the Welsh 3000 challenge, which will see her walk over 15 peaks in Snowdonia in 24 hours.

Rebecca, a veterinary physiotherapist, is taking on the challenge in memory of her mother Sue Sharples, who died from motor neurone disease in April.

Rebecca will be joined on the walk by her cousins, Charlotte Johns and Polly Berraondo, and may also be joined by her cousin, Millie Seagon, who would have to fly in from Kenya.

They are hoping to raise �1,000 each for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Rebecca said: “For us the walk is all about motor neurone disease- five people a day die from it in this country and there’s no known cure.

“It’s a pretty horrific disease, and my wonderful, brave mum died after two and a half years suffering with it, so that’s why we want to do it. My cousins suggested doing the Welsh 3000 while my mum was still alive, and when she passed away it became even more relevant.”

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Rebecca, says the support her mother and family received from the Motor Neurone Disease Association was invaluable.

“Cynthia Hopkins at the association gave us lots of support and help and has become a great friend to us.

“You couldn’t do without people like that, and a lot of them are volunteers.”

Despite being out of practice with long-distance walking, Rebecca is now well up for the challenge she faces.

“I think I was nervous at first, but in the last week or so the walking has been getting easier as the training has started to pay off.

“I’m pretty lucky to live in Budleigh as we’ve got the coastal paths, so I’ve been training every day.

“The challenge is to do it in 24 hours, but we’re hoping to do it in 16 or 17- we’d like to do it in a reasonable time.” Rebecca and her cousins will be taking on the Welsh 3000 on July 23. To sponsor Rebecca, visit www.justgiving.com/Sue-Sharples.