Mum ‘amazingly proud’ as young daughter organises walk from Felixstowe to Woodbridge for M.E. cause

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph D

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph Dark. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A 10-year-old girl moved by her mum’s struggle with M.E. has walked more than 14 miles through Suffolk to raise money for research into the incurable condition.

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph D

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph Dark. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Holly Steward-Dark trekked from her home in High Beach, Felixstowe, to Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, today in aid of charity Action for M.E.

The youngster was joined on the six-hour journey by step dad Trevor Dark, brother Joseph Steward-Dark, step siblings Olly Dark and Connie Dark and best friend Summer Rackham.

Holly’s mum Rachel Dark, who has lived with M.E. for 15 years, said she was “amazingly proud” of them.

“I don’t know how they managed it,” she added. “It’s an amazing feat.”

Holly Steward-Dark called on her family and a friend to join her on a walk from Felixstowe to Woodbr

Holly Steward-Dark called on her family and a friend to join her on a walk from Felixstowe to Woodbridge in aid of Action for M.E. Picture: RACHEL DARK - Credit: RACHEL DARK


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M.E. – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – is a long-term neurological condition which can cause severe fatigue and pain.

Rachel, 41, said the illness had an “enormous affect” on her life, but her family gave her a reason to strive on.

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She added: “I rely on pain killers and rest as and when I can. I can’t do an awful lot. If I make plans I more often than not have to cancel, which is a nightmare but I’m just managing to get through until they can find a cure or something that can aid it.”

The walk was organised to coincide with M.E. Awareness Day, on May 12.

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph D

(L-R) Connie Dark, Summer Rackham, Trevor Dark, Rachel Dark, Holly Steward-Dark, Olly Dark, Joseph Dark. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Holly hopes the money will be used on research to develop new treatments to make her mum feel better.

She said: “My mum has M.E. and she started to forget things and started to become all tired out and couldn’t do the things she used to do. She started to fall over and be in pain so I decided to raise money to help to stop all of that and help to figure out ways to solve it.”

Rachel met the ramblers for a much-needed rest and sandwich break at The Maybush Inn in Waldringfield, where one customer bought them hot chocolates and donated £10.

Joseph and Olly are both 13 and are pupils at Farlingaye High School, while Holly, Connie, 11, and Summer, 10, all attend Woodbridge Primary School.

Trevor, 50, said: “Towards the end they were achy but apart from that the kids were fantastic and it was a fantastic idea.”

The target is to collect £500 for Action for M.E. To donate, see here.

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