Morecambe lifeboat volunteer steps up to the challenge for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Morecambe volunteer lifeboat crew member, Amy Roberts, is used to running to the aid of others but next month she will be running for a cause very much closer to home.
Amy is in training to complete the 10km Great Manchester Run, on Sunday 20th May, in order to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis (APF) and, in spite of the early morning runs, aching limbs and blisters, Amy is equally determined to raise awareness of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis; a terminal condition that gradually causes scarring of the lungs, making breathing increasingly difficult and thus preventing oxygen from being transferred into the blood. Over 5,000 people, including TV personality Keith Chegwin, die from the terrible disease each year; more than those lost to some better known diseases such as leukaemia. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is 3-5 years and there are no known causes or cures. The charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis supports patients, and their families, and raises vital funds for research.
Amy’s father, Harry Roberts MBE, was the volunteer Senior Hovercraft Commander at Morecambe’s RNLI lifeboat station until he was recently diagnosed with the disease and, after 30 years of dedicated service, had to step down from the role due to the risk of a seaborne infection exacerbating his condition. Typical of the man, Harry continues to volunteer as a Deputy Launching Authority and hovercraft mechanic; as well as assisting with crew training. Harry said ‘I am very proud of Amy for running in this event and I hope that it helps to raise awareness of this awful disease.’
Wendy Dickinson, Deputy Chair of APF said ‘We are so grateful that Amy and more than 30 other runners will be taking part in the Great Manchester Run to support our charity. My family has a particular reason for being involved with APF as my father, the late football manager Pete Taylor (who managed Nottingham Forest with his partner Brian Clough) died from the disease in 1990 aged 62. I will be helping to look after our hospitality tent at the run along with my children, Peter’s granddaughters, Alex Croft, who is APF’s Fundraising and Marketing manager and Laura Dickinson. We will be cheering our runners on all the way. Good Luck Amy!’
Anyone wishing to support Amy on her run is asked to please visit www.justgiving.com/amy-roberts42 and make a donation.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.