Evie fundraiser hits £18,000 thanks to 270 walkers

Organisers of a sponsored walk to support a local girl and her family were blown away at the weekend as 270 people completed the 10-mile hike between the football pitches at Lauder and Melrose.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 13th June 2022, 3:28 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 3:29 pm
Evie Mitchell was delighted to meet up with Doddie Weir on the walk.
Evie Mitchell was delighted to meet up with Doddie Weir on the walk.

Evie Mitchell was diagnosed with Batten Disease just before Christmas.

Although the condition will inevitably lead to the nine-year-old losing her sight, prohibit her movement, and eventually shorten her life, she and the rest of her family are taking some comfort from the support they are receiving from friends and neighbours.

Sponsored swims and runs have already taken place, with many more events planned over the coming months, to raise funds to send Evie to New Zealand to meet her cousins for the first time.

Money will also be used to convert the Mitchells’ house in Melrose so Evie can remain at home with parents, Wayne and Lynne, when her condition worsens.

On Sunday, the fundraising was boosted with 270 people joining the nine-year-old to walk between the football pitches in Lauder and Melrose.

Evie’s aunt Wendy O'Donnell was one of the walk organisers.

She said: “One of the reasons we set up the charity was to show the family, particularly Wayne and Lynne, the amount of support that’s around them.

“We didn’t know how much the target for fundraising should be – we went for £25,000 to cover the cost of a trip to New Zealand and then the equipment they will need.

“It means the family don’t have to think about money during this time.”

Despite her illness, Evie led the 10-mile walk between Lauder and Melrose on Sunday, with refreshments made available at rugby legend Doddie Weir’s farm.

Evie’s dad Wayne said: “Doddie was in good spirits and had a few questions from Evie about his cows and sheep. So nice of him and the family to allow us to stop for refreshments.

Donna Fraser was one of the founders of the charity that is supporting Evie during her Batten’s journey.

She added: “I was hopeful of getting 50 walkers on Sunday and we ended up 270 - we have been overwhelmed with the support since the very first day we started the charity for Evie.

“As well as raise money we also want to raise awareness of Batten’s.”

The Evie's Batten Journey charity has so far raised over £18,000.

Wayne added: “The fundraising has blown us away. It’s amazing how the community has got behind Evie … very humbling.”