Muscular Dystrophy, Colchester
Newsletter number 3
July 2000

Back issues

Chairman's Corner

It is newsletter time once more, there has been quite a lot happening since the last edition, more of that later. I have received three items for inclusion in this newsletter that is encouraging, perhaps it will spur more of you to contribute. This is your newsletter, the chance to tell us, the committee, what you think about what we are or are not doing, in running your branch. Your suggestions and criticisms will all be taken seriously and given every consideration.

We have two new committee members, including a Treasurer. This brings the committee back to full strength and we hope to benefit greatly from the experience that they will bring to the branch.

Last year the branch was treading water, with little or no organised fund raising. This year tells a very different story, see below.

New Committee Members

I am sure that you will join me in welcoming to the branch and to the committee two new members, neither of whom have any direct connection with Muscular Dystrophy but just want to help.

Geoff Ball has joined the committee and brings with him a wide experience in fund raising, he also is involved with youth football in the Colchester area.

Chris Jenkinson is our new Treasurer, an ex - bank manager who has also been involved with local charitable organisations and incidentally is also involved with youth football locally. Some years ago Chris was Treasurer for the Kings Lynn branch of MD.

We offer them both a very warm welcome and hope to benefit from their collective talents in promoting MD in the Colchester and District area.

Fund Raising

Quiz Evening: Organised and planned by students from Colchester Institute, Business Studies HNC/D course as a group project. This raised 557.00. Our special thanks to Clare Jarman, daughter of Keith and Jan Jarman, a student on the course who was responsible for MD benefiting from the event. Clare has also been involved in various other fund raising events in aid of MD, we are very appreciative.

Maria's plant sale raised the fantastic sum of 975.02. Congratulations to Maria for the organisation and for the use of her garden in which the sale took place. Our thanks to everyone who helped to run the event, supplied plants etc, and to those who supported Maria by attending the sale.

Aldham Olde Tyme Ralley and Fayre: My grateful thanks to: Stan Angier, Beryl and Tom Leeks, Janet and Norman Saunders, Sue and John Wood and to my wife Doreen, both for their moral as well as physical support. The weather was kind to us and although the first day was a bit disappointing, we did better on the second day and took a total 377.00, with sufficient prizes left over to carry forward to the RNLI fete at West Mersea in July.

Store Collection (Tesco's Greenstead Road): This took place on Saturday 17th June, again my thanks to Anne Jackson, Maria Fremlin, Chris Jenkinson, Beryl Leeks, Janet Saunders, Sue Wood and Jan Jarman for their help on the day. We collected 240.00.

Muscular Dystrophy, Colchester. Newsletter number 3 July 2000

Date Event
22nd July RNLI Fete West Mersea
12th August Store collection at Co-op store Fiveways, Abbotts Road
28th August Mersea Island Lions Club - August Bank Holiday Festival
7th October Store collection at Sainsbury's Tollgate West Stanway
14th October Store collection at Co-op store Fiveways, Abbotts Road

We need volunteers for any or all of these events, please let me, Geoff Wiseman, know if you are able to help out. If you can help please let me know as soon as possible so that we can make the necessary arrangements. At the store collections, the most that we would require from you is two hours, even one hour would be appreciated. Please help if you can.

We have been offered the opportunity, to hold a fund raising event in the Mayoral Suite, at the Town Hall, during the current Mayor's period of office. We have some ideas but are asking YOU for suggestions as to what we might do. It needs to be something rather special, to take full advantage of the location, again please let me know as soon as possible.

Sad News

We are saddened to hear of the death of Eileen Morehen, a sufferer, who passed away on May 21st. at the age of 81 years. The funeral service, which took place at Colchester crematorium was attended by seven branch members. Our condolences go out to Eileen's family and friends.

Good News

The Book of Life

Monday 26th June 2000. This date will go down in medical history as the beginning of the end of most genetic diseases. " We have completed the first draft of the Book of Life" say the scientists who have cracked the human genetic code, a breakthrough hailed as the most important in the history of mankind. Although we cannot expect any immediate results, this hopefully will be a new beginning in the search for new and more effective treatments, leading to the possible eradication, altogether, of MD in the years to come.

From Linda Evans

Linda is the daughter of Mrs Lilley, Colchester Road, Lawford. A sufferer who has FSH MD. Linda has two sons, David and Robert.

David has been diagnosed with the condition which affects his shoulders. Robert does not show any clinical signs but has been diagnosed through a blood test.

Linda has written in because David, who is 19 years of age, has seen a Doctor at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and has been given an opportunity to have an operation, some time in October, this year, which will enable him to raise his arms to a higher level. The operation will involve having a bone graft from his hip, to fuse his rib and shoulder bone with bolts. David will be in a frame for about three months, after which time he will, if he wishes, proceed with an operation on his other arm, at a later date.

The purpose for Linda writing to the newsletter, is to offer hope to others in this position. We will be kept informed of David's progress, after his operation and wish him every possible success, with the operation and for the future.


A 'tongue in cheek' contribution from Janet Saunders, who is definitely writing from the heart.

"A Doctors Receptionist's Lament" The woman slumped at Heaven's gate, scarred of face and old, and pleading with the man of fate, sought entry to the fold.

"What have you done" St Peter said "to gain admission here?" "A Doctors receptionist, Sir I've been, for many a drear year. The Heavenly gates swung open wide, St Peter touched the bell, "Come in and choose a harp my dear, you've had your share of hell!"


Maria Fremlin has written, with regard to her son Peter's recent journey to foreign parts.

Peter set out on Friday 3rd of June, at 6.30 am on a school trip to France. Thirty fourteen year olds, accompanied by three teachers, travelled by train, on an exchange visit with a school in Montauban. It was their first visit away from home on their own.

Some fifteen hours later Peter sent his first e-mail which read: "Got here safely, but with some trouble. The train left Montauban station before I got off. I was left with two teachers. We reached Toulouse, waited about an hour for the next TGV. We arrived in Montbauban, only to find that the Headmaster of the school we were visiting had driven to Toulouse, had an announcement, in English, made over the 'Tannoy' but we were playing cards in the bar and did not hear it."

Peter enjoyed the remainder of his stay in France, receiving 'the red carpet' treatment from his hosts, he experienced a French school, went on a canal trip, did some horse riding, lots of shopping and sightseeing.

They arrived home on the 11th June, except for two girls who missed the train and travelled on later with one of the teachers.

It seems as though it was an eventful visit.

Peter, as you know, is responsible for our branch web site, which can be found at: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~pfremlin/mdgroup

As you have seen above, the branch is making steady progress with regard to fund raising, there is still very much to do and we can never sit on our laurels. We must always strive to achieve more.

The committee and our helpers can only do so much, we have a fairly full programme for the remainder of the year, but we have had to turn down opportunities to raise more funds, because we are unable to find enough people to attend the events.

I am sure that you are bored to tears with my constant plea for volunteers, I am sorry, but I will continue to ask for your help until we have sufficient people so that we do not have to refuse any opportunity for fund raising.

Please, please, please, if you can spare two hours or even just one hour to help out with fund raising, let me know. The list of coming events is shown above, look at it again to see if you can give us some of your time.

New copy, for the October edition of the newsletter should reach me by mid September.

Enjoy the Summer..

See our contacts page for how to contact the branch.

Geoff Wiseman,
Branch Chairman/Editor,
57 Winsley Square,
Colchester,
CO1 2ET.

Back issues