Old classmates go extra mile for charity

A GROUP of old school pals have teamed to take on an epic fundraising challenge.

A GROUP of old school pals have teamed to take on an epic fundraising challenge.

The 30-something former Holywells High School friends are in training for this year's Edinburgh Marathon which takes place at the end of May.

Andrew Ellis, James Hunt, Andrew Cant, Kevin Matthews and Del Sharman are hoping to complete the gruelling 26-mile run while raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

For Mr Ellis the work of the trust is particularly significant because his 18-month-old daughter Alicia was born with cystic fibrosis.

Mr Ellis said: “Although Alicia is a strong and healthy baby girl she, along with 8,000 others in the UK, lives with the everyday impact of this progressive and life threatening condition.

“This will be one of the hardest challenges I have ever taken on but training is well under way and I am committed to completing the challenge and raising as much as possible.”

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When the Cystic Fibrosis Trust was founded in 1964, life expectancy was five years but is now 31.

The trust works to improve the lives of people with the illness, while funding research into a cure for the disease which affects the mucus glands of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive disability.

Mr Hunt, 33, from Kingsgate Drive, Ipswich, said: “We were all in the same year at school and although we went our separate ways we have always stayed in touch.”

Mr Matthews now lives and works in Nottingham, while Mr Cant is a chartered accountant in London but the group are still eager to make a concerted effort for little Alicia.

Mr Hunt said: “When Alicia was diagnosed with CF we decided to show our support by raising money for the trust.

“We would like to all get over the finish line together but I don't think it's going to happen!”

If you would like to sponsor the five friends before they take on the Edinburgh Marathon, visit www.justgiving.com/andrewellis21.

Are you raising money for charity? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk