Martial arts groups give Tilly big boost

Charlie Featherstone (left) with Michelle McDonough and John Parkinson with Tilly McDonough (front right) and her sister Caitlin
Charlie Featherstone (left) with Michelle McDonough and John Parkinson with Tilly McDonough (front right) and her sister Caitlin
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AN adorable schoolgirl who suffers with a rare condition is set for a holiday of her choice after a generous donation from two martial arts groups.

Hartlepool-based North East Tang Soo Do (NETSDA) Family of Martial Arts and Fitness organised events in support of four-year-old Tilly McDonough, who suffers with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

After word spread of the fundraising efforts, the Hartlepool group was joined by Manchester-based Family Martial Arts Centres, one of the largest UK Tang Soo Do organisations.

Events organised by both groups raised £4,460 which was all handed over to Tilly and her family.

Barnard Grove Primary School pupil Tilly is one of only 50 girls in the country to be suffering with the muscular wasting condition which will also attack vital organs and has a life expectance of early 20s.

At the age of four, she is the strongest she will ever be and by the time she reaches her mid-teens she will no longer be able to walk and may not be able to use her arms.

But the bubbly youngster is now set to enjoy a trip to Peppa Pig World, in Hampshire, with her older sister, Caitlin, seven, and parents Michelle, 33, and Christopher, 43.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic donation, we were taken aback” said Michelle, who lives in the King Oswy area of Hartlepool.

“It was so kind of the groups to organise events and raise money in support of Tilly in the first place and to raise as much as they did, we are so grateful.

“I would like to say a big thanks to everyone who helped to raise the money.

“Tilly wants to go to Peppa Pig World, she can’t wait.”

A rock night, kickathons and old clothes collections all helped to raise the cash.

Charlie Featherstone, chief instructor at NETSDA Family of Martial Arts and Fitness, said he was delighted to be able to help in raising the thousands.

Charlie, 46, who lives in the Rift House area of Hartlepool with wife Diane, 43, a Slimming World consultant, said: “The generosity of people donating time, money and effort was fantastic and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved.

“I would also like to thank John Parkinson who travelled up from Manchester to present the cheque to Michelle.”