Portsmouth family fundraiser to help find cure for mum’s illness

RUN Kevin Riley with, from left, brother-in-law Spencer Croucher, his sister Nikki Croucher, Kevin's wife Anna Riley, family friend Helen Johnstone and 'brother-in-law Andy Taw, who will be taking part in the Great South Run. Picture: Sarah Standing (123375-9541)
RUN Kevin Riley with, from left, brother-in-law Spencer Croucher, his sister Nikki Croucher, Kevin's wife Anna Riley, family friend Helen Johnstone and 'brother-in-law Andy Taw, who will be taking part in the Great South Run. Picture: Sarah Standing (123375-9541)
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KEVIN Riley was left devastated when his mum was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Now the 36-year-old will pound the streets of Portsmouth for her and hopes his efforts will help him raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The UK charity is trying to find a cure for the muscle-wasting condition, with which mum Beryl Riley was diagnosed in January last year.

Kevin, of Fearon Road, North End, Portsmouth will compete in the Great South Run on Sunday, October 28, with nine other members of his family.

He said: ‘It really hit the family hard.

‘It wasn’t good news at all and at first we were just trying to get our heads around it.

‘Now we feel that we want to support her as much as possible.

‘It’s nice that some of the family are getting involved. We hope to stick together.

‘It will be 10 miles of pure fun and leisure.

‘We haven’t set ourselves a target – we just hope to raise as much as we can, and then perhaps do another charity fundraiser at some point.’

Last month, Kevin took part in a charity golf day at Southwick Park Golf Club, in Southwick, along with 40 other people for Motor Neurone Disease Association and Cancer Research UK.

Kevin raised £400 for each charity.

His sister Nikki Croucher, who lives in Berney Road, Eastney, said: ‘I’m not a runner in the slightest but I thought it would be a great idea to get the name of the charity out there.

‘I don’t think many people know about it.

‘The thought of my mum and the finishing line will keep me going.

‘She will be there at the start and the finish, come rain or shine, which is brilliant.

‘There’s different levels of the condition – but unfortunately the one my mum has attacks the nerves in her throat which means she can’t talk or eat or drink.

‘We just want to fund research into this disease. It’s a really awful one.

‘Prior to her being diagnosed she started slurring so, unfortunately, we started guessing what it was.’

The team, which began their training in April, have been running from Eastney to Clarence Pier and back – 
the length of Southsea seafront.

They have so far raised £300 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

To donate visit justgiving.com/nikki-croucher