Teesside Uni’s Woman’s Rugby team is participating in ‘Dry January’, where all members are sponsored to not drink any alcohol for the first month of the year to help raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Forensic biology student and society member Laura Rook said: “There’s a few reasons why we wanted to do this but the number one reason is to raise money for fighting the disease of MS which is a cause we’d all like to see tackled.”
“By doing dry January we hope to raise awareness among people, especially students about this disease and hopefully raise enough money to make MS a real thought provoking issue to people around the university.”
Over 100,000 people in the U.K. are diagnosed as having MS.
Dry January is traditionally an event aimed at raising money for cancer research but the society decided to raise money for MS due to several members of the Rugby team having had first hand experience with the disease.
Laura, whose own father is sadly affected by MS, says that although it hasn’t been easy going the whole month sober, it will all be worth it:
“From a personal view point, raising money and awareness for MS charities is an issue that I hold very close to my heart and am inspired by the whole team participating.
“Not drinking for a whole month isn’t going to be the easiest thing to do, just ask any student, but when it comes to bigger issues like these diseases which affect thousands of people around the country it, it makes it all worth it.”
Jain Guillaume, another member of the universities Rugby society, lost her mother to MS and is keen to raise money as well as awareness for the disease:
“My Mum was diagnosed with MS when I was seven and I grew up looking after her until she eventually passed away when I was 23, almost 10 years ago.”
It really shaped the way I was brought up I think as I had to be independent quite young and I don’t think enough people know about the effects it has on someone and their family so raising awareness is also important.”
As well as having an online donation account, the society has a collection box in the Student Union shop along with their own calendars dedicated to raising money for another charity, ‘Body Dysmorphia’.
Donations raised by the Rugby society will go towards helping the ‘Multiple Sclerosis Society’, the UK’s leading MS charity, fight the disease through continued research into cures.
The Rugby team has currently raised over three hundred pounds and hopes to have raised more by the end of the month with a team target of one thousand pound set.