European Tour: London, Saturday 7 May 2016

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This was to be my third walk in London.

And the third time I would be accompanied by the amazing Louise Marriott.

It would also be the second time that fellow Scot, and ataxia sufferer, Tam Donnelly would join me. Tam first walked with me during my 50th birthday walk in Hyde Park in January 2016.

And this is why exercise is so important. Especially for ataxia sufferers.

When I had first met Tam in January he had, by his own admission, spent most of the previous 7 years, since his ataxia diagnosis, shut away at home. He was doing very little in the way of exercise. In fact, the walk in January was the first time that he had walked any distance since being diagnosed.

However, just 3-4 months later, he looked like a man reborn. He was walking a lot. And as well as the physical benefits, the change in Tam mentally was a real transformation. He was smiling. Chatty. A real pleasure to be around. In fact, when this walk along the south bank of the River Thames in London had ended, Tam walked back to the starting point via the north bank!

We were also joined by an exceptional young man from Austria. Nico Weber. Nico had seen my open invitation on Twitter, and as he had just recently arrived in the UK, he joined in (primarily to improve his English). Nico is only 18. A very exceptional young man, who realises that he has to proactively seek out new friends.

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Tam, Nico and Lou

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