Woman raises £5,000 for charity by walking Thames Path after father is diagnosed with rare condition

A woman whose father has a muscle-wasting condition has raised more than £5,000 for charity by walking 184 miles.

Lucy Anderson’s father, Philip Anderson, has a progressively disabling muscle wasting condition, which is unresponsive to any treatment. 

Lucy, who is from Elephant and Castle, and her mother, Philippa Anderson are walking the Thames Path, from the source to the Thames Barrier, to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK).

The 28-year-old found it hard to watch her father’s condition develop. 

She said: “In the past he was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis but has been told it is progressing in a way more characteristic of Motor Neurone Disease.

“The reality is that these conditions are so rare they can only receive a ‘best-fit’ diagnosis. His particular condition is not yet recognizable, treatable or curable.”

Lucy said planning and starting the walk is making a huge difference, adding: “I hate the feeling of doing nothing. 

“It has made a huge personal difference to me to be raising money for MDUK to fund vital research. 

“I hope that the conditions can be better understood and treated in the future. It is also wonderful and comforting to have so much support and so many donations from people.”

The pair started the walk in February 2020 and planned to finish by September that year, but COVID delayed them.

They restarted with the second section in October 2021, the third in November, and they plan to finish the walk on September, 4, 2022, which is Lucy’s father’s birthday.

They have already surpassed their target and raised over £5,000 and hope they will raise considerably more.

Lucy said: “I am thoroughly enjoying having a goal to aim towards and I will be very sad when it has been completed. 

“I would welcome anyone from the MDUK community who would like to join us.”

MDUK Regional Development Manager Louise Moffat said, “Lucy raised such an incredible amount of money before they had even started their challenge. 

“I was devastated for her when they had to put it on hold. It is fantastic that they have managed to restart, and they are at the £5,000 target already. 

“Fundraising can be very cathartic for people, and it is great that Lucy has found some solace in it. 

‘I would like to wish her and her mother a huge good luck and thank them for their challenge and very much look forward to joining them for one of the later stages.”

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Pictured top: Lucy Anderson (left) and her mother Philippa (right)



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