Metro Lifeline is back and we need you – and your dog – to help!

How’s your lockdown been? Lots of walking?

If so, our 2021 Lifeline campaign is the perfect way to put all those steps to good use – and this year we’ve even got something for your four-legged walking companions, if you want to bring them along. Hot on the heels of last year’s campaign success which saw us raise over £60,000 for The Hygiene Bank, this year we are supporting an amazing charity, whose work is also all the more vital due to the coronavirus crisis. Called Medical Detection Dogs (MDD), they train dogs to sniff out the odour of human disease – such as cancer , Parkinson’s and even coronavirus – which can then lead to a quicker, often life-saving, diagnosis.
Not only that, MDD also train Medical Alert Assistance Dogs, who go on to live with people who have life-threatening conditions such as Type 1 diabetes and severe allergies, so they’re always around to let them know any time their health may be in jeopardy.

It’s fair to say that at a time when the NHS is at breaking point, these dogs are more vital than ever.

That’s why we decided to support MDD as our Lifeline charity for 2021 and raise much-needed funds so they can keep on doing their amazing work.

Be Diligent about Vet Visits. “Don’t wait for the signs,” Dr. Becker stresses. Focus on “prevention first.” Pets age fast, and when it comes to illness they are programmed to mask weakness, “they’re naturally secretive.” One to two visits a year is ideal, but if you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate, and don’t self-diagnose. “In the last two years I’ve seen four or five cases where people went to the internet for help, and by the time they get to the vet it’s too late,” says Dr. Becker.

And that’s where you come in!

woman walking her spaniel
This year you can bring your four-legged friends on our charity fundraising walk (Picture: Getty Images)
Two people hiking of a grassy hill with backpacks
Particpants can choose between a 42km or 10km route across the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)
This year our challenge is called Woof and Walk for MDD and we will be organising another sponsored 42km marathon distance hike – but we’ll also be offering something a little bit different in support of the stars of the charity: a shorter fundraising walk of 10km for those who would like to bring their dog along.

On top of that, there’s also the option to take on our 10k route as a family, with kids under 16 not required to pay any registration fee.

Already signed up to join our 10k Woof and Walk for MDD are singer Alexandra Burke , TV’s Dr Christian Jessen , reality star Pete Wicks and presenter Debbie Flint.
The celebrities joining the Metro Lifeline Woof and Walk for MDD: Alexandra Burke, Debbie Flint, Dr Christian and Pete Wicks (all posing with dogs.)
singer Alexandra Burke, TV’s Dr Christian Jessen, reality star Pete Wicks and presenter Debbie Flint will be joining our Woof and Walk for MDD.
‘What I love about this charity is that it is not just about the dogs, it’s about dogs helping humans,’ explains Debbie, who is an for ambassador the charity alongside Dr Christian. ‘So rather asking people if they want to help me raise money for dogs, it’s the opposite. The money will help dogs to help us.’

Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

Pete adds: ‘I can’t wait to join the Medical Detection Dogs team in raising awareness of their groundbreaking research, which can help early diagnosis of cancer and even Covid. Dogs have always been and always will be man’s best friend.’ Taking place on Saturday 19 June, both walks start and finish in the Oxfordshire village of Goring and take you along two of the UK’s most spectacular National Trails, the Thames footpath and The Ridgeway. All our marathon-distance walkers will be expected to raise at least £300 each for the charity, while Team 10k-ers will need to raise that amount per family – and there are firm rules for those bringing dogs, which you’ll find via the Charity Challenge registration page.
Talking about the difference your support could make to the charity, Medical Detection Dogs founder, Dr Claire Guest says: ‘Everything we do costs money, so the Lifeline campaign will enable us to carry on our very vital work.

‘It will help us support people with life-threatening illnesses through our amazing assistance dogs and allow us to carry on working on our very important research projects.

‘We really want to continue making a difference and we know we can do that with your help.’

Run a dryer sheet over your dog's fur when there's a storm — chances are, they aren't freaked out about the storm but the static electricity built up in their fur. According to Martha, this should work at least 50% of the time.

From your amazing response to last’s year campaign, we already know that readers are fantastic fundraisers up for a challenge, so if this sounds like an adventure for you, what are you waiting for?

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