A Major in the British Army is turning his hand to some odd jobs to raise money for a children’s charity.
Major James Hugo Marshall RLC is offering bicycle repair and servicing and mobile phone screen fixing services to raise money for a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy charity, Harrison’s Fund. He was inspired to start his fundraising after his wife, returned from a team triathlon training camp in the Lake District. One of the camp participants was Gary Fegan whose young son, Cormac, suffers from the life-limiting disease.
James, 43 years old, currently stationed near Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire, said: “My wife told me about the disease and the fundraising that Gary undertakes for Harrison’s Fund. The condition might not be severely curtailing the lives of so many boys if sufficient money could be raised to facilitate the research into treatments. With the condition affecting as few as 100 boys each year, there simply is not the public pressure to conduct the research and development needed for a treatment. I studied genetics at university and have always found the subject fascinating in general, but to think that a simple error in the dystrophin gene can cause such a life-limiting condition is quite simply tragic.
“Being an Army Officer and a triathlete, I know how easy it is to take physical fitness for granted. When I looked into Harrison’s Fund I found the video of the charity’s founder, Alex, completing Challenge Denmark along with Gary Fegan and others and found it truly inspirational. It got me thinking about what I could do to help in whatever small way I could. I’ve always loved mending things when I was growing up and I used to sit and watch my father fix things which is where I picked up a lot of my skills. I started offering my services back in 2015 and since then I’ve been mending bikes, phones, and laptops whenever I can in return for a donation to the charity. So far I’ve raised more than £350. Sometimes the jobs prove quite difficult but it is always worth the effort; every time I start to get tired or bored, I remind myself that it’s not for me, but for the young boys with Duchenne and that gets me going again.”
Harrison’s Fund is named after 11 year old Harrison Smith from Surrey who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away. Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 12 research projects in the US and the UK.
Luci Roberts, fundraising and campaigns executive at Harrison’s Fund added: “This is such a brilliant idea from James – turning something so simple into a fundraiser for us! We are really are grateful to him, for choosing the charity to support and he’s done brilliantly well so far with all his efforts.