On yer bike! soldiers pedal for sick ex-combat medic

Katie Boase, Katrina Brown and Hayley Shirley

Katie Boase, Katrina Brown and Hayley Shirley

First published in North Wilts news

ARMY mates peddled hard to help former combat medic Katrina Brown raise the final few thousand pounds she needs to pay for lifesaving treatment in America.

Fellow wives and soldiers from 29 Regt at South Cerney trooped down to Asda in North Swindon to take part in a 15-hour cycling marathon to aid the 31-year-old who was exposed to depleted uranium while serving in Iraq.

Their efforts raised more than £1,100 for the fund.

Organiser Cpl Katie Boase said she had wanted to do something since the beginning of Katrina’s £110,000 appeal last year.

Persuaded by friends not to shave her head, she hit on the idea of a sponsored static bike ride instead after taking part in a similar event for ABF The Soldiers Charity.

She gathered around 20 volunteers to keep the pedals moving in relay while others collected cash from shoppers.

“I just feel that organisations that should be helping her haven’t helped and it is quite frustrating that it has been left for us to do anything we can to raise money.”

“People are really rallying together,” she said.

Katrina, 31, still has around £4,000 to find before she flies out to Chicago at the end of next month to undergo treatment for systemic sclerosis.

“It’s amazing how generous people have been,” she said.

The terminal condition, which was first diagnosed four years ago, attacks her organs causing them to harden.

Katrina, who is married to soldier Martin, only discovered treatment was available in America after finding fellow sufferers on the internet. Last October she crossed the pond for a series of tests to check whether she was still well enough to have the procedure, which involves stripping out her immune system using chemotherapy and rebooting it with her own stem cells.

It was then that expert Dr Richard Burt told her she needed it within weeks because her heart had already been damaged.

To donate visit katrinasfuture.org

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