Great North Dog Walk backs life-saving appeal

Carrie Beckwith-Fellows is appealing for people to help her raise funds for life-saving surgery.
Carrie Beckwith-Fellows is appealing for people to help her raise funds for life-saving surgery.

An inspiring woman battling a rare genetic condition will be one of the main beneficiaries of this year’s Great North Dog Walk.

The annual event on The Leas in South Shields - organised by Tony Carlisle - has lent its support to the campaign, Carrie’s Fund, in aid of Carrie Beckwith-Fellows, 37, who is battling a condition Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and a complication called Cranio-Cervical Instability.

Great North Dog Walk organiser Tony Carlisle

Great North Dog Walk organiser Tony Carlisle

EDS is causing Carrie’s spine to collapse crushing her brainstem and leaving her with catastrophic damage.

While Cranio-Cervical Instability which means the spine in her neck is too weak to hold the weight of her head.

There are no treatment options available for Carrie in the UK, so her family are facing a race against time to raise funds for life-saving neurosurgery in Barcelona, Spain.

The surgery, would fuse Carrie’s entire neck - meaning she would lose all movement in her neck - but would put a halt to her deteriorating symptoms.

But it comes at a price of £100,000 - a total that needs to be raised by the time Carrie goes in for surgery on September 6.

After Carrie and her wife Lisa, 34, from Kielder, Northumberland, contacted Tony to tell them of their fundraising drive, Tony decided to make Carrie’s Fund one of the main beneficiaries of this year’s event.

Tony is also using the walk to raise funds for other worthy causes, including the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.

He said: “Carrie contacted me and when I read her story I thought it was unbelievable.

“I said I would do anything in my power to help and if I can help in any small way to get Carrie her life-saving surgery I would be extremely proud.”

Carrie will be at the walk, which takes place on the Leas on Sunday, June 3, and people are invited to donate via her page gofundme.com/carriesfund100k -or by registering on the walk site to walk in aid of her cause on the day and collecting sponsorship.

Lisa, Carrie’s wife, said: “Carrie also suffers with problems with her memory as a result of her condition, but if she gets the surgery hopefully this can be reversed.”

Carrie said: “The hardest part is there is hope, but I need a miracle to be able to afford it.

“It’s like having a carrot dangling in front of me and I have to beg other people, even strangers to get it for me.”