Hornchurch woman, 24, raises nearly �2,000 for the Scleroderma Society

A determined young Hornchurch teacher raised nearly �2,000 to help sufferers of a rare disease.

Hollie Thorman, 24, is battling scleroderma – a disorder that slowly hardens her skin and muscles. During a hospital stay, the literacy teacher decided to focus some energy on fundraising, and went on to amass 60 autographs to auction and sell for the Scleroderma Society, all by writing letters.

Hollie’s famous names included deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, Dame Judi Dench, Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, Romford singer Jessie J, and businessmen Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar.

And on Saturday night (October 13) the Risings Terrace resident put 20 of the best under the hammer at Rainham Social Club, Upminster Road South, with the remainder sold for fixed prices.

The evening raised �1,892, and donations are still coming in.

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“I am ecstatic with the total amount,” said Hollie. “It’s by far my proudest achievement to date. I would love to run another fundraiser in the future.”

Daniel Radcliffe’s signature raised the highest single amount, fetching �80.

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Rolf Harris was next, attracting a winning bid of �75.

“Without a doubt the hardest thing about living with Scleroderma is how ‘unknown’ it is,” said Hollie. “Until I was diagnosed with scleroderma I had never heard of it, and until last Saturday most of my friends and family hadn’t either. Because little is known of the illness, it isn’t at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to fundraising. If more funds were raised then more research would be done, and a cure to this devastating illness could possibly be found.”

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