In November 2017, armed with my trusty walking stick, I aim to start walking north from Sydney, arriving on the Gold Coast (some 580 miles later) in time for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April 2018.
The Gold Coast Games will include the largest ever disabled sports events in the history of the Commonwealth Games.
Sydney Harbour at dusk [photograph: www.australia.com]
After being diagnosed with spinocerebellar ataxia in March 2015, I donned my kilt – and started walking.
Raising awareness of this very rare neurological condition as I went.
And raising funds for Ataxia UK too (the registered ataxia charity here at home – to date I have raised over £1,000).
Walking? As this will be the next ability that I will lose (anything more strenuous is already just a memory), walking while I still can is now very important to me.
And the kilt? My main aim is to raise awareness of this very rare, and sometimes completely random condition (before 2013, I was rather fit). And my kilt is unbeatable when it comes to attracting attention – both from the people who I meet while walking, and from the media (who can reach far more people than I could ever hope to just by walking).
However, due to the progressive nature of my incurable condition, I always knew that these walks would come to an end at some point (I just didn’t know when – the rate of progression of ataxia is extremely variable, so I could have been in a wheelchair within 12 months of diagnosis – or I might still be walking 10 years later).
But after falling during my previous walk (along the Canal du Midi in France), it has become pretty apparent that my “walking” days will soon be over.
So it turns out that I had 2-3 years of “walking” left.
Therefore, this will be my final fundraising walk.
If you would like to help fund this Final Walk, helping to make it possible in the first place, and be listed below as a “Major Supporter” or “Supporter” of the walk, please see:
The Final Walk is being very kindly, and generously, funded and supported by the following people and businesses:
|Original jewellery designed and handcrafted in precious metals by Gillian Ryan using traditional tools and techniques.|