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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-   31 July 2006

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SOUTHPORT WOMAN WALKS ONE OF THE WONDERS OF THE WORLD FOR PARKINSON’S

EMMA Cosgrove, from Southport in Merseyside, has signed up for a unique and exciting fundraising challenge next May - a 9-day trek along the Great Wall of China, to raise vital funds for the Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS).  From 5 to 13 May 2007, 22 year-old Emma, who’s Grandfather has been living with Parkinson’s for 15 years, will be walking one of the world’s most breathtaking historical sites with around 30 others. The Trek China challenge is a rare opportunity to hike in a remote part of rural China and experience the culture and traditional way and life of the Chinese people. The trek begins and ends in China’s vibrant capital Beijing, and during the 5-day walk Emma will visit parts of the Great Wall rarely seen by visitors.

Nursery nurse Emma, says:- “I’m really looking forward to taking on the Great Wall of China – it will be an amazing experience and a unique and exciting way to raise funds for the PDS. I was inspired to sign up for the trek as I get to see first hand the effect Parkinson’s has upon my Granddad, as well as my Nan, who has been looking after him, and the PDS play a vital role in both their lives.  So far I’ve raised over £100 through car boot sales and the help of family and friends, and have a few more ideas up my sleeve to raise money that will go to improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s and funding essential research.”

Tracing the crests of hills and mountains as it meanders over the spectacular scenery of China’s countryside, the Great Wall’s undulating and challenging path stretches for thousands of miles across the north of the country, with views across Inner Mongolia. Built over 2,000 years ago by the first Emperor of China, to defend against barbarian invasion, the Great Wall is one of the largest building construction projects ever completed. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Wall was enlarged to 4,000 miles.

To truly experience the cultural diversity of China, there will be a day at the end of the trek in which to explore the capital, taking in the Forbidden City, Imperial Gardens and Tian'anmen Square, and see how Beijing is preparing to host the 2008 Olympics.

Hugo Middlemas, Director of Fundraising at the PDS said:- “The PDS China Trek is ideal for people who are looking for a unique physical and cultural challenge that gives them the opportunity to raise money for a very important cause. The money raised will go directly to funding research into a cure for Parkinson’s as well as looking for ways to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”

To sign up or find out more about Trek China 2007 please contact Anne Durrant, at the Parkinson’s Disease Society, on 020 7963 9319 or email expeditions@parkinsons.org.uk. Alternatively you can visit the PDS website at www.parkinsons.org.uk.

Participants are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of £299, which includes travel costs, and pledge to raise a minimum amount in sponsorship, part of which covers the additional costs of the trip. Flights, all internal travel, accommodation, meals and water are all included.

AS THE UK SUFFERS FROM A WATER SHORTAGE – SO DO WE

AS THE threat of drought hits the UK this summer, 91% of Brits will also be personally suffering from a shortage of water, according to a study released last week.  With 77% of the UK population not knowing how much water they should be drinking it is not surprising that dehydration, which affects kidney function and blood pressure, and can cause constipation and mental confusion, is so common.

The study, released by Kenwood water filtration in association with psychologist Dr David Lewis, delved into the nation’s water drinking habits and found that 73% of Brits feel thirsty 2 or more times a day. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration.

The study also found that:-

27% of the UK population could be damaging their bodies by not drinking any water at all during the day leading to severe dehydration

Only 9% of the population felt they were re-hydrated enough

60% of people surveyed admitted to spending up to £800 a year on bottled water with this figure set to rise

However, Brits could save themselves more than £700 per year by converting to filter water which not only removes chlorine, heavy metals and sediment from tap water but also boasts a superior taste compared to that of bottled water.

Dr David Lewis comments on the study’s findings, “These shocking statistics highlights the vast number of people who are still unaware of the importance or drinking water. Dehydration can cause numerous serious side effects which can affect all aspects of our lives including our work.”

Effects of Dehydration

Initially you will feel thirsty, however the effects become much more severe if you delay drinking, leading to confusion, irritable moods, dizziness and a nasty headache – this is especially serious for children, babies and older people.

The long-term effects of dehydration are much more serious, as it can impact on the skin, kidneys, liver, joints and muscles. Dehydration can also lead to a build up of cholesterol, blood pressure problems, fatigue and constipation. Plus the mental confusion it causes can lead to serious accidents - at work or when driving. Eventually dehydration will lead to death.

Taking Action

8 glasses of water a day is all we need to combat dehydration, however many people struggle to drink the recommended amount. This is often blamed on the poor taste of our tap water, especially in cities such as London where the water can have a strong chlorine aroma. Dr Lewis also points out that it also has a lot to do with our current lifestyle; “Busy people can become so involved with their job they fail to eat at regular times and may not notice when their mouth becomes dry, indicating an already overly high amount of dehydration.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking fizzy drinks, glasses of juice and cups of tea count. Surprisingly these, along with alcohol can make the problem worse! While beverages such as these may quench thirst immediately, they increase the rate of dehydration by causing the body to produce more urine. The result is that we end up flushing more fluid out of the body than we have just taken in.

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