WHEN Lisburn mum Judith Cherry and her twin sister Nicola Neville first started taking part in the Action MS sponsored walk in 1988 when they were pupils at Fort Hill College they could hardly have realised they were starting a family tradition.
All through their secondary school career they joined in the annual Walk for MS and thanks to family and sponsors raised hundreds of pounds for the charity.
The habit never left them and when Judith and Nicola were unable to participate in the school walk they continued to help by acting as stewards in other Walks. As adults they supported Action MS in other fundraising events and were always there with the collection box at Lisburn Street Collections. Now a new generation has picked up the pace with Judith's own twin boys Luke and Joel, who are now seven year old, following in their mum and aunt's footsteps. They are pupils at Seymour Hill Primary School where the Walk for MS tradition is still very much alive.
Action MS Chief Executive Ann Walker said: This is an amazing example of commitment and dedication to a worthy cause. We are very proud and grateful to Judith and Nicola for their support over the years and delighted to see the twins now very much involved and enjoying their first steps on the Walk for MS."
Luke and Joel took part in their first walk last year and each raised £100. They received special Action MS Thank You certificates at the annual Action MS Thank You Awards luncheon held in the Europa Hotel earlier this year.
"They were over the moon," said Judith. It seems they really have got into the spirit of the event and we're looking forward to many more enjoyable walks to help the charity keep up its wonderful record of care in the community."
Action MS is now providing a comprehensive range of support to families living with MS in Northern Ireland including help for young children facing the news that a parent has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The charity also provides counselling, Medicare Holiday breaks, advocacy services and help for young people through Focus Groups and social events.