Local fundraiser hits the saddle for Muscular Dystrophy UK

26/07/2023
Kathleen and members of the Rotaract Club of Aberdeen and the Rotary Club of St Fittick who are taking on the challenge

AN NHS physiotherapist from Aberdeen is gearing up for a 41-mile charity cycle, after 12 years off the saddle.

Kathleen Tan, 24, the president of the Rotaract Club of Aberdeen and will be joined on the cycle fundraiser by three members of the club and four members of Rotary Club of St Fittick.

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Together the group, which ranges in age from 18 to 60 years, will cycle from Ballater Square through Banchory Deeside Way to Duthie Park, covering approximately 41 miles on Saturday 29 July.

Kathleen says: “It’s a great personal challenge for me, and a collaborative fundraiser between Rotaract Club of Aberdeen and Rotary Club of St Fittick. We’ve chosen to fundraise for Muscular Dystrophy UK to raise awareness of the 60 plus conditions and to encourage physical activity in people of all ages. 

“In my day-to-day job as a physiotherapist for the NHS, I’ve worked closely with patients living with various myopathies (conditions that affect the muscles), so I know how debilitating muscular dystrophy can be and why it’s so important to raise funds for research – because there’s currently no cure for muscular dystrophy.”

Muscular dystrophy is an umbrella term given to a range of rare, life-limiting muscle-wasting conditions. More than 6,000 people in Scotland have muscular dystrophy, and although there is currently no cure, research to develop potential treatments is showing great promise. 

Kathleen, who is originally from Malaysia, has lived in Aberdeen for the past three years after moving there following her graduation. She’s been a member of the Rotaract Club of Aberdeen for the past three years.

Kathleen adds: “I love that through Rotaract we can go out and serve the community. I’ve been a Rotaractor for 6 years now, as well as an Interactor in high school back home in Malaysia. When I moved to Aberdeen, I made friends through Rotaract and that helped settling me into the area. 

“Rotaract isn’t assigned to one cause – we’re able to support different initiatives, small business and charities, so it’s brilliant to be able to support a charitable cause that I’m passionate about.”

About the cycling challenge she continues: “I’ve been training in the gym and now outdoors. I’m slowly reaching the distance and I’m confident I can do it. I’m glad we’ll all be cycling together. I feel it’ll be easier when travelling in a group! We’ve got good banter and great friendships to help get us around the course.”

Jodie Whitham, Regional Development Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “We’re grateful that Kathleen and the Rotaract Club of Aberdeen and Rotary Club of St Fittick members from taking on this epic cycle challenge for Muscular Dystrophy UK. The money raised will help to support those living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions and help fund essential research – we couldn’t do what we do without groups like this.”

Support Kathleen by donating to her online fundraising page: justgiving.com/page/rotaract-aberdeen-mdukcycle

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