Charity honour for fund-raising Huntingdon family

James and Debra Mclellan, from Huntingdon.

James and Debra Mclellan, from Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

A Huntingdon family who have raised more than £70,000 for research to fight the rare muscle-wasting condition that affects their son, have been named as Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Fundraising Group of the Year.

James and Debra Mclellan, along with sons, Charlie, 8, and Dan, 6, were presented with the award by BBC presenter Sue Barker during a ceremony in London on Saturday, in thanks for their “incredible efforts” in galvanising family and friends to back their Dan’s Hope Fund.

The fund is helping Muscular Dystrophy UK to back groundbreaking research to tackle Ullrich muscular dystrophy, the condition Dan was diagnosed with at the age of two.

The Mclellans bring together teams of up to 50 runners for the charity’s Cambridge Town and Gown 10k every year, and have persuaded 16 plucky friends to sign up to a 15,000ft sponsored skydive to raise funds for Dan’s Hope.

Family friend Derrick Mabbott even travelled to California to train for a free-fall jump in support of the youngster.

Mr Mclellan said: “It was wonderful to meet Sue and we were absolutely thrilled to accept the award on behalf of everyone who supports Dan’s Hope, our family, friends and the amazing people around us.

“Without their help, we would never have got this far. On the day of the awards we heard about four or five promising new avenues for research that could help Dan. It’s great to be able to go back to all of those people who have worked so hard and be able to tell them what together we are achieving.”