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Meet the Devon mother and daughter duo stepping out for a Cure

Dawn Michelin is running 10 miles a day for 100 days. Daughter Chantelle is walking 5km a day to fund research into brain tumours.

Chantelle and Dawn Michelin stand in red The Brain Tumour Charity t-shirts. Dawn is stepping out by running 10 miles a day for 100 days. Daughter Chantelle is walking 5km a day to fund research into brain tumours.

A Big Challenge

Dawn Michelin, landlady of the Horse and Groom in Bittaford, Ivybridge, does not see herself as a runner. But this April will mark 10 years since she lost her dad to a brain tumour, and Dawn is stepping out of her comfort zone by running 10 miles a day for 100 days to raise funds for The Brain Tumour Charity, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to fighting this devastating disease.

Brain tumours have had a huge impact on Dawn’s family. As well as her Dad, who died of a glioblastoma in 2014, she also lost her best friend Hazel, and two other family members to brain tumours – her cousin Andrew, and Grandad James.

Dawn is no stranger to heroic fundraising challenges. In 2020 she walked an incredible 8 million steps to raise funds for The Charity, and shine a light on brain tumours.  But this one is certainly her hardest one yet.

A woman stands by a tree overlooking the sea during a stepping out challenge for charity
Dawn Michelin stepping out during her Epic Step challenge in 2020
A woman in The Brain Tumour Charity running vest
Dawn during her epic step challenge in 2020

Dawn explains: “I came up with the challenge because I wanted to do something crazy in my Dad’s memory, while also helping people on similar situations – letting them know people care. After the 8 million steps in 2020, I knew I had to make it more challenging to get people’s attention, although sitting in a bath of baked beans would be really challenging for me as I hate being still!”

Running through pain

Such a tough physical challenge would be daunting for anyone, but it is all the harder for Dawn, because she suffers from a condition that causes chronic pain. Dawn has ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease which causes joint stiffness, as well as heart, and autoimmune disease. The condition affects her movement.

“I was told that I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was forty and I wasn’t going to let that happen.

“My right side suffers from numbness, so I have limp. I’m on weekly biologic injections; these help me greatly.

“I’m literally taking it one day at a time. I run in the morning before work, as that’s when my pain is lowest. The toughest part is the first 5 miles, as it takes me a while to get going –  and eating enough calories is actually difficult.

“I’m sensible with my runs, slowing it down when needed, running indoors as well as outdoors. I’ve  been training myself for this since last October so I know I’m mentally strong enough – it’s just a case of not listening to my legs!”

Dawn Michelin

A woman celebrates day 30 of running 10 miles a day for 100 days

Daughter Chantelle’s Challenge

Dawn’s daughter Chantelle Michelin, who works in funeral care, is taking on her own 100 day challenge and is walking 5km every day.  The pair have been encouraged to see their fundraising totals rise, with Dawn having already more than doubled her original £500 fundraising target.

Mother and daughter are determined to overcome any battles they may encounter and see their challenges though to the end in April. Dawn explains: “When you’ve seen loved ones no longer themselves, mentally and physically, due to the effects of a brain tumour, it hits home about how important a cure for brain tumours actually is. 

“I’m not a quitter – so why not challenge myself?  After all, it is a privilege to be able to move. 

“34 people are diagnosed everyday with a brain tumour in the UK, so not only is raising funds and awareness helping them,  but it also keeps the memory of those who lost their fight alive. 

“Fundraising for the Brain Tumour Charity makes me feel I’m continuing to fight their fight.” 

Get involved

If you have been inspired by Dawn and Chantelle’s story, and want to organise your own fundraising event, tell us your plans. Our community fundraising team will support you every step of the way.

Or, take a look at the events you can get involved in and challenge yourself like Dawn and Chantelle!