Family run together for charity’s appeal

Rena, Cath and Robin Armstrong. 0608134667
Rena, Cath and Robin Armstrong. 0608134667

A family from West Monkseaton will take part in this year’s Great North Run for a cause close to their heart.

Cath Armstrong has always been proactive in dealing with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since she was diagnosed with it 14 years ago.

After finding out about the MS Research and Relief Fund building in Stobhill, Morpeth, from her brother’s work colleague, Sarah Atkinson, she has been attending twice a week to exercise in the vibrogym and receive sports massage and foot treatments.

She enjoyed running in the very first Great North Run, but her condition meant she could no longer take part.

However, next month she will be involved in the big event thanks to her husband Robin – who has completed every Great North Run since it started and has raised staggering amounts of funds for charity – and daughter Rena.

They and Rena’s friend Rebecca Senior will push her around the 13.1-mile course in her wheelchair.

The money raised in sponsorship and collections on the day will aid MS Research and Relief Fund’s efforts to build a hydrotherapy pool at its Benmar House headquarters.

Mrs Armstrong said: “I’m looking forward to being part of the Great North Run, although I will probably feel physically sick on the morning of the event.

“Hopefully the conditions will be good and people will generously donate to our cause along the route.

“When I first went along to Benmar House, I was very surprised by how much it has to offer and I really benefit from each visit. The people are wonderful and they provide a range of therapies for people with different stages of MS.”

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The charity gives users information to help them and their families deal with MS and it also contributes to research into the condition.

Fundraising for the charity’s hydrotherapy pool started last year.

The facility would help to relieve symptoms, including fatigue and pain, and allow sufferers to exercise gently and safely without causing stress to their bodies.

Mrs Armstrong added: “It would be amazing to have such a specialist pool at the building.

“It would make a massive difference to everyone who goes to Benmar House because it’s important for MS sufferers to do as much exercise as possible.”