Father's 160-mile trek for son

A SON whose father is dying from the rare condition Pick's Disease has walked 160 miles in just four days - the equivalent of six marathons.Mike Martin walked from his house in Hampshire to his parents' home at Bacton, near Stowmarket, mainly along B class roads.

By John Howard

A SON whose father is dying from the rare condition Pick's Disease has walked 160 miles in just four days - the equivalent of six marathons.

Mike Martin walked from his house in Hampshire to his parents' home at Bacton, near Stowmarket, mainly along B class roads.

The 32-year-old is raising money and awareness for Pick's Disease sufferers, a terminal disease that his father John has suffered from for six years.


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John is a retired 69-year-old chartered accountant and his condition is a little known cousin of Alzheimer's.

So little is known about this disease that his son is hoping he can help raise people's awareness of it as well as help fund future research and the support group that help sufferers and their families.

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Mr Martin, who is married and has his own sports promotional company, said: “Walking was not an easy option, because covering 40 miles a day in 12 hours is really hard work.

“I want to thank all my supporters who walked with me and helped me on route, without them I might have given up, especially when my feet blistered and my shins gave up.

“I was relieved and elated to finish, it was hugely emotional.”

Father and son finished the last five miles of the walk together and the pair were cheered on by a jubilant family, and over 100 friends and sponsors.

Anne Martin, Mike's mother, said: “He did extremely well, it was a fantastic effort.

“We had never heard of Pick's Disease before John was diagnosed, and the specialist at Addenbrooke's only sees about five people with John's type of Pick's Disease a year.

“It is like Alzheimer's and involves a complete loss in your ability to remember words or names, many place names, personal names.

“John is coping quite well, but he can get very frustrated by it and it has effected him very badly. But our family have been fantastic.”

Mr Martin hopes his walk will raise £10,000 and if you would like to make a donation on-line, visit the website www.justgiving.com/picks

Or, for more information about Pick's Disease, e-mail: fundandfriends@addenbrookes.nhs.uk

PICK'S DISEASE

n It is a progressively degenerative neurological disease similar to Alzheimer's Disease for which there is no known prevention, or cure.

n It affects the frontal and temporal lobes first, with earliest symptoms showing up as changes in personality and a decline in function at home as well as work.

n It is frequently first diagnosed as stress or depression and then as Alzheimer's disease.

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