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Team of walkers raise £10,000 for charity

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30 people took part in trek from Kingsclere to help fund vital research into cure for Cystic Fibrosis

A TEAM of 30 walkers have raised more than £10,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by taking part in a 12-mile trek through the North Hampshire countryside.

The walk was organised by Kingsclere mother Nicola Davies, whose 15-month-old daughter Annie was diagnosed with CF when she was just three weeks old.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes a build-up of sticky mucus in the lungs, but also affects other organs, including the pancreas.

It affects more than 10,500 people in the UK and currently there is no known cure.

The team set off from Kingsclere on Saturday, August 15, and travelled through the villages of Hannington, Sydmonton and Ecchinswell before making their way back.

While the majority of the walkers started off in Kingsclere, some of Mrs Davies’ other friends joined in from further afield including London, Bracknell, Southampton and even California.

She said: “It was a lovely day and great that so many people turned up. It was a lot more emotional than I thought it was going to be.

“My mum and dad even finished the walk and they are both in their 60s.

“Some were definitely more prepared than others, but everyone completed it and it’s fantastic we’ve managed to raise so much money to try and help find a cure for CF.

“Originally I set out with the intention of raising £1,000, then upped it to £3,000, then it reached £5,000 and now it’s over £10,000.

“I want to say a massive thank you for everyone who has donated.”

Mrs Davies, who lives on Newbury Road, said she had “absolutely no idea” that both she and her husband Tom were carriers of the ‘faulty gene’.

She added: “I later found out that one in 25 people carry the gene and don’t even know it.

“CF is a condition that affects Annie’s day-to-day life.

“We have to perform chest percussions [the traditional airway clearance technique for cystic fibrosis patients].

“She also has to have pancreatic enzymes to break down the fat from her food and that is something she will have to take for the rest of her life.

“In many ways it is an invisible illness. If you looked at Annie you wouldn’t have any idea that she had it.”

In recent months there have been developments in the quest to find a cure for the condition.

In October 2019, the NHS struck a deal to make the CF ‘wonder drug’ Orkambi available in England and, on June 30 this year, agreed a deal on Kaftrio, a life-changing drug for 90 per cent of CF patients.

Mrs Davies said that while the latter was not a cure, it was the “next best thing and will change Annie’s life for the better”.

All the money raised from the walk will go directly to the CF Trust.

If you would like to donate and add to their fundraising total, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=NicolaDavies78&pageUrl=1

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