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Charity quiz night in West Pinchbeck raises £520 for research into genetic medical condition affecting great-grandson of British Empire Medal holder in village




A West Pinchbeck woman honoured by the Queen for her charity work hosted a successful quiz night to help her great-grandson fight serious illness.

Betty Matthews (89), awarded the British Empire Medal in 2014 for charitable services to Oxfam, welcomed more than 80 quizzers to West Pinchbeck Village Hall for a fundraising quiz night on Saturday.

The event raised £520 for Duchenne UK, a charity chosen by Mrs Matthews in support of her great-grandson Archie Davies (five) who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in August 2017.

Betty Matthews (second right) with co-organisers Carol Massam, Helen Knight and Shirley Smith at a charity quiz night that raised £520 for Duchenne UK. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-230219-110TW
Betty Matthews (second right) with co-organisers Carol Massam, Helen Knight and Shirley Smith at a charity quiz night that raised £520 for Duchenne UK. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG-230219-110TW

DMD, a genetic muscle-wasting condition that affects an estimated 2,500 boys and young men in the UK, causes a child to have difficulties in running, jumping, climbing stairs and keeping balance.

Mrs Matthews, who has three sons, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, said: "The quiz night went very well indeed, everyone was very happy and we raised quite a lot of money for Duchenne UK.

"People wanted me to say something about DMD research and the way we were able to help the charity by raising money.

Betty Matthew's great-grandson Archie Davies. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-230219-109TW
Betty Matthew's great-grandson Archie Davies. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-230219-109TW

"It makes me feel sad when I think about the huge effect DMD has had on my great-grandson and his family.

"But Archie's mum is beginning to comprehend things a little better and the doctors are doing so much research, involving all the parents whose children hace DMD."

According to Duchenne UK, DMD is the most common fatal genetic disease diagnosed in childhood.

The condition almost always affect boys who tend to be diagnosed before they reach the age of five and the first signs of it are often when a child has difficulty getting up off the floor.

As the child gets older, DMD eventually affects all the muscles used for moving, breathing and the heart muscle as well.

Mrs Matthews' granddaughter -in-law and Archie's mother, Rebecca Davies, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, said: "We had no suspicion of anything until Archie was about two and a half when he couldn't run in the same way as his peers.

"He couldn't jump and he fell over a lot but I thought he was flat-footed and might need some inner soles to help him with that.

"We took him to a pediatrician who suggested that Archie might have DMD and we were advised to go for a blood test.

"When the formal diagnosis came back for DMD, it was pretty catastrophic because there's no known cure for it.

"But although we live far apart, Betty has always played a huge role in my life and I speak to her a lot her great-grandson having this diagnosis because Betty is an incredible lady and a force to be reckoned with."

Betty Matthews and Archie Davies. Photo supplied. (7418231)
Betty Matthews and Archie Davies. Photo supplied. (7418231)

To support Archie's march for Duchenne UK, visit https://www.duchenneuk.org/donate/archies-march/10/credit-card



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