Leighton Buzzard ice hockey star aims for world record as she raises money for charity

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Former Team GB athlete steps up to the mark for a charity close to her heart

A former Team GB ice hockey player, Monica Petrosino from Leighton Buzzard, is embarking on a mission to complete five million steps for charity.

Monica has been walking and running a staggering 40,000 to 50,000 steps every day since September 1, up to TEN TIMES the national average each day!

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She hopes to break the record for the fastest time to move five million steps and raise awareness and funds for Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, a charity close to Monica’s heart. She is diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and it has impacted her life in many ways.

Monica Petrosino is taking on a massive step challenge for charityMonica Petrosino is taking on a massive step challenge for charity
Monica Petrosino is taking on a massive step challenge for charity

The syndrome is a group of genetic disorders that affect connective tissues — primarily skin, joints and blood vessel walls. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provide strength and elasticity to the underlying structures in the body. For Monica, the worst parts affected is her digestive system and joints.

Despite having this lifelong genetic condition, Monica continues to inspire those around her with her continued motivation to raise awareness for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. After just 23 days, Monica had already hit a monumental milestone of 1 million steps, and is now striving to reach the half way point of her challenge.

Monica, who now works as a personal trainer in Leighton Buzzard, said: “I am raising money and awareness for the Ehlers Danlos UK support charity. They are a small charity due to the condition being rare and commonly misunderstood. I myself am diagnosed with EDS and it has impacted my life in so many way. Therefore I want to raise awareness and funds for future scientific developments and understanding.”

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She played in Team GB's senior ice hockey team and took part in the 2019 World Championships before retiring at the age of 24.

You can follow Monica’s progress on her Instagram account or website.

You can also donate on Monica’s JustGiving page to support Ehkers-Danlos Support UK and find out more about the condition. There's no specific treatment for EDS, but it's possible to manage many of the symptoms with support and advice.