Michael McGrath, the inspirational co-founder of The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) and owner of the 1,000th Etac E800 powerchair, was joined by bestselling author Jeffrey Archer at the Royal Automobile Club in London, to help raise £11,500 to fund unforgettable experiences for children with Muscular Dystrophy.

MHF delivers amazing and unforgettable experiences in the UK called ‘Muscle Dreams’ for children and young people with the muscle wasting disease, Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy affects over 70,000 people in the UK and varies in complexity with no known cure. Michael himself has Muscular Dystrophy and hence uses a cutting-edge, Scandinavian engineered Etac E890 powerchair for daily mobility and the ability to achieve a standing position. He is a remarkable individual who besides being the driving force behind this family charity, is a highly accomplished motivational speaker. He is also the first and currently only disabled person to have successfully pioneered expeditions to both the North and South Poles and he carried the Paralympic torch during the summer. During the 2012 Games, Michael also successfully led the high profile ‘Games Inspired Muscle Dreams’ (GIMD) experience for 75 beneficiaries that was supported by Etac UK.

Jeffrey Archer, the author of well known titles such as Kane and Able was delighted to be auctioneer for this fifth RAC hosted annual fundraising event, which aims to persuade charity supporters to bid on an impressive array of gifts and experiences. These included a personal training session with Richard Callender, the star of ITV1’s ‘The Biggest Loser’, and three bottles of Bollinger Champagne in limited edition gun silencer-style cases. One particular highlight saw Jeffrey assist Olivia, a beneficiary during MHF’s flagship GIMD programme, in securing the prize to appear as a character in Ian Rankin’s next novel. Olivia faced intense competition from another bidder, but a compromise was reached when Jeffrey artfully spoke to Ian on the phone and the Scottish novelist generously agreed to feature both Olivia and the other MHF guest in the book.

Michael concluded: “Jeffrey Archer conducted the evening’s proceedings with great wit, insight and moments of brilliance in helping our family charity achieve a respectable outcome. We would like to personally thank all the supporters who generously donated this evening and we look forward to investing these funds in further unforgettable experiences for young people with Muscular Dystrophy during 2013.”

In a posting on his website, Jeffrey commented: “If you’re looking for a charity to support, this one could do with your help, and I hope they ask me to be their auctioneer next year, because for me it was one of the happiest evenings of 2012.”

Picture captions: 

1.  Michael McGrath in the 1,000th Etac E890 powerchair (centre left) next to best selling author Jeffrey Archer (centre right), supporters and beneficiaries of The Muscle Help Foundation at the charity’s annual fundraising auction, Royal Automobile Club, London

2. Michael McGrath proudly welcomes guests to The Muscle Help Foundation’s annual auction at the Royal Automobile Club, London, in the 1,000th cutting-edge Etac E890 powerchair 


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