Farewell, to brave Bedford fundraiser Debbie Burrells

editorial image

A brave fundraiser has died just hours after presenting two more huge cheques to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Debbie Burrells passed away at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, Moggerhanger, on Thursday (May 23).

A well-known face in Bedford, Debbie started campaigning to raise funds to combat the disease and help sufferers as soon as she was diagnosed almost 12 months ago.

Highlights of her year-long effort included celebrating her 60th birthday with a charity Cruise Ship Party at the Bedford Swan Hotel, and the massive Bashing The Boundary 150-mile run organised at Easter by her brother Rob and friend Nick Kier.

The final two cheqes were one for £25,000 from Debbie’s Daisy Chain appeal, and another for £67,000 from the run, which was hugely supported by the Rotary Club of Bedford Park members and many friends.

Rob said: “Debbie had hoped to make it to the magic £100,000 figure and we are keeping the https://daisychain.muchloved.com/Home open so that anyone can make a contribution to honour her memory.”

Chris James from the Motor Neurone Disease Association acknowledged the importance of Debbie’s contribution in terms of raising awareness; they met in the ‘green room’ of the Victoria Derbyshire national TV programme about MND, and the money she inspired people to raise.

He said: “Our association has over 30 years of experience identifying and funding the most promising MND research.

“As of December 31, 2018, the research portfolio is £16million, which includes grants that are currently active or those we are committed to fund. These are focussed on four main areas – identifying therapeutic targets, developing a treatment pipeline, understanding the clinical progression of MND and improving standards of care.

“After 40 years since we were founded our vision remains a world free from MND.”