Marathon bid for former Anthony Gell student

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Open ballot places for the London Marathon are very difficult to obtain, but Dr Helen Brownlee, a former pupil at the Anthony Gell School, Wirksworth has beaten the odds to earn herself a place.

She will run for a small and very special charity which she has been involved with through scientific research for many years called the Myotonic Dystrophy Support Group.

The charity is run by volunteers and is dedicated to offering the hand of friendship and support to all those affected by Myotonic Dystrophy. This is a devastating muscle wasting disease affecting babies, children and adults. Research into finding a cure is urgently needed.

The charity is based in Nottingham and Helen successfully nominated Mrs Margaret Bowler, the National Coordinator of the charity, to be an Olympic Torchbearer for the London 2012 Games.

Helen left Wirksworth to study at Aberystwyth University and now works as a Research Manager at the University of East Anglia. With her previous experience in scientific research and through her current job she is very aware of how vital research is to find new treatments or cures for diseases like Myotonic Dystrophy. Helen frequently visits Wirksworth where her father, Mr Ron Brownlee, still lives. Helen has said that “I wanted to take part in the London Marathon to raise the awareness of this charity and to raise money for vital research. Also, completing the 26.2 miles’ course will be a massive personal achievement!”

To sponsor Helen please visit

For more information on the Mytonic Dystrophy Support Group visit