Members of the Royal
Irish Regiment battle the 45 degree heat
in Afghanistan to take part in a fund
raising exercise bike cycle in aid of `pleasefixsam'.
They cycled the distance between their
Afghanistan base and their barracks in
SOLDIERS serving in war torn Afghanistan have
joined the battle against muscular dystrophy after learning of
the fundraising efforts of a Hillsborough couple whose toddler
son has just been diagnosed with the invariably fatal condition
which affects only boys.
Despite being in constant dangers themselves,
members of the Second Royal Irish Regiment were moved to help
after reading about the plight of little Sam McCausland in
newspapers sent to them in 'morale parcels' by their families.
Some of the soldiers during their
Sam McCausland aged 18 months, with
brother Callum 15), parents Tracy and William
McCausland and grandparents Sam and Patricia
The big hearted troops went to the website
www.pleasefixsam.com, set up by the little boy's parents
Tracy and William, and sent an e-mail telling the couple they
wanted to help raise both funds and awareness of the disease.
Despite the high temperatures in the volatile region which are
currently topping 45 degrees fahrenheit the soldiers 'got on
their (exercise) bikes' and raised money by cycling the number
of miles between their base in Afghanistan and their barracks in
Ballymena. They are also donating all the money raised from
their weekly haircuts to the appeal. Tracy and William said no
words could express how grateful they were for the soldier's
efforts. They also urged Internet surfers to visit the website
which now features all fundraising activities planned for the
year ahead and explained how people could help the campaign to
find a successful treatment for muscular dystrophy.
"We are encouraging everyone to get involved.
People can help with something as simple as telling five others
about the site and our campaign," said Tracy.
On Sunday they couple will join a number of
other people taking part in a sponsored 'parachute jump for Sam.
"This will involve leaping out of an aeroplane at an altitude of
13,000 feet," added the young mother who will take Sam to London
next week to participate in a parliamentary lobby organised by
Action Duchenne, a charity which deals specifically with the
Duchenne form of Muscular Dystrophy.
Other families from Northern Ireland will
join the mother and son for the lobby after getting in touch
with the McCauslands as a result of press coverage over the past
weeks. Tracy said members of the public could help with the
lobby by writing to their MP's. She explained
www.pleasefixsam.com now features a form for this as well as
a link giving people the name of their MP.
"It will take only two minutes of your time and
the cost of a stamp," she added. "Unfortunately this terrible
disease is touching more lives and threatening the futures of
more little boys. It is imperative we persuade the government to
allocate more funds to research, and that we continue the
struggle against Muscular Dystrophy."