The Global Walk for Ataxia

The Global Walk for Ataxia. The global charity event of 2016.

What? One man. His walking stick. And 100 accessible walks in major cities worldwide.

Why? To raise vital funds for ataxia research, to raise awareness of this rather insidious condition, and a vehicle to unite ataxia sufferers & supporters worldwide. [more....]
Next: Walking The Spanish Costas (Girona to Gibraltar), Spain.
Start: August 2016.


The rough route is as follows:

From the start at Girona, I will head to the Mediterranean coast at Sant Feliu de Guixols. Where I'll turn right (south) and walk in the resorts of Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar, Blanes, Malgrat de Mar, Calella, Arenys de Mar, Mataro, Badalona, Barcelona, Castelldefels, Sitges, Tarragona, Salou, Cambrils, Santa Barbara, Alcanar, Vinaros, Peniscola, Benicassim, Castellon de la Plana, Port de Sagunt, Valencia, Gandia, Denia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, Villajoyosa, Alicante, Torrevieja, La Manga, Cartagena, Aguilas, Almeria, Roquetas de Mar, Motril, Almunecar, Nerja, Malaga, Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona, La Alcaidesa until finally arriving at Gibraltar on the southern tip (assuming my legs carry me that far of course!). A distance of some 800+ miles. So it might take me a few days ;)

As with all previous walks, everyone and anyone is warmly invited to join me at any stage. So if you are lucky enough to be holidaying in Spain this Summer, please say "Hi" to the man in the kilt with the walking stick.

If you are unable to participate yourself, please please please support this event, and help me fund the continuation of these walks:

Help keep me plodding along
*Paypal will convert to your currency of choice.

There are also two ways that you can support this event on an ongoing basis. One costs nothing, the other is seriously tasty!

Online Shopping Some of the biggest and best names in online retailing have agreed to pay me a few pennies for every customer that I send their way (typically around 5% of the amount spent). Importantly(!), this doesn't cost YOU a single penny extra (the funds come from the retailer's profits). Yes, it's only a few pennies (about 50p for every £10 you spend) - but these pennies all add up. And help me arrange, and participate in, more fundraising walks.

The £700 Prize Raffle There are some amazing prizes up for grabs (the total prize value is currently in excess of £700!). Every raffle ticket bought (just £2) helps fund these, and future, fundraising walks:

Thank you for your very kind and generous support!

These boots were made for walking.....

The Altitude Pro Lite RGS Waterproof Walking Boot.

Balance. It is one of the first casualties of ataxia.

And as the condition inexorably progresses, sufferers go from using a stick to aid personal balance, to eventually not being able to walk at all.

So when Hi-Tec offered to kit me out with footwear for the 2015 City Bridges Challenge and the Global Walk for Ataxia events, I was somewhat overwhelmed.

Although not specifically designed with ataxia sufferers in mind (the shoes were designed to make walking on uneven surfaces easier for able-bodied walkers), the RollinGait system that is a feature of these shoes is ideal for ataxia sufferers!

As ataxia progresses, the gait of the sufferer naturally widens (to help with balance). Over a period of time, and while still able to walk, this means that the focus of bodyweight moves from the outstep to the instep. Slowly but surely. So the ideal shoe should allow for this change in gait. And if an ataxia sufferer ever designed the ideal shoe to wear - then they would end up designing a shoe with RollinGait technology in the sole!

I just can't thank Hi-Tec UK enough for these shoes.

So what is this "ataxia"?

Don't worry if you've never heard of it. Before being diagnosed as suffering from ataxia in March 2015 (after 17 months of tests), I'd never heard the word either (just like 91% of the UK population).

Ataxia is a rare genetic condition. Estimates suggest that there are 10,000 sufferers in the UK (about 1 in every 6,400 people). There are many different types of ataxia (I suffer from late onset Spinocerebellar Ataxia). Ataxia affects communication between the brain and body. The ability to walk is usually the first to go. Then speech/swallowing, sight and hearing. At best, there will be a wheelchair in my future (I already have to use a stick for any up/down movements). At worst though, complications due to ataxia can be terminal. Which gives this whole event a bit of a "Now or Never" feel.

There is currently no cure for any of the ataxias (although Ataxia UK are funding the very hard work that is being done to find one).

And worse still, ataxia is a progressive condition. Meaning that affects only gets worse with each passing day.

So while I still can, I will (with your very kind support, of course).

The best description of ataxia that I've heard is: "Ataxia. It's like Multiple Sclerosis ganged up with Parkinson's, and played a dirty trick on Cerebral Palsy".

So. Not very nice then.

And because ataxia is a lot rarer than its more well-known big brothers, fundraising events are rarer too. But sadly, ataxia is no more fun to have.

So please, please, please support the Global Walk for Ataxia journey in any way that you can: Friends of The Global Walk for Ataxia.

All proceeds from the Prize Raffle are used to fund these walking events. The total prize value is now over £700. However, the raffle will not be drawn until December 25 2016, and new prizes are being added all of the time, so I expect that this (already substantial) figure will rise even further.

Enter Here:

If you would like to donate a prize for this raffle, and receive some rather visible advertising for your products/services, please contact me directly:

Yes. I do all of the walking. But it is the Friends who make all of these fundraising walks possible in the first place.

Support & Become a Friend
*Paypal will convert to your currency of choice.

Friends of The Global Walk for Ataxia
These very kind people have made this event possible. Please support my supporters.

 Name and LocationWebsiteFacebook PageTwitter Page
    VIA Rail, CanadaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Absalon Hotel, CopenhagenWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hotel and Spa Princesa Munia, OviedoWebsiteTwitter
    Visit FlŚmWebsiteFacebook
    The Blue Train, South AfricaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Grand Hotel, FolkestoneWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Translink - Northern Ireland RailwaysWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    First Great Western RailwaysWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Tam Donnelly (Ataxia UK London North-Central Branch)WebsiteTwitter
    Travel Massive, WorldwideWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Iarnrůd …ireann - Irish RailWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    City Hotel, Derry/LondonderryWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Apple Apartments, BelfastWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Comfort Hotel BÝrsparken, OsloWebsiteFacebook
    Hi-Tec UKWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Best Western Sligo Southern Hotel, SligoWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Inlandsbanan Railway, SwedenWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Ernie Meikle, Greenford, UKFacebook
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    Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro, Golfo Aranci, SardiniaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Andy Carter (Calling All Stations Blog)WebsiteTwitter
    Waterford Marina Hotel, WaterfordWebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Jo„o Matias, ÷stersund, SwedenWebsite
    Juliette Morrison, Hatch EndFacebookTwitter
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    Tim White, Could be AnywhereWebsiteTwitter
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    Lucy Dodsworth, Cheltenham (On The Luce)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Martina Valcharova, BrnoFacebook
    Neil Dinnen (Wanderer Photos)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Aquae Sinis Albergo Diffuso, Cabras, SardiniaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    TPO (the people's operator), LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Cottonwood Boutique Hotel, BournemouthWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Edward Kendal, Nottingham (RailwayManiacs Blog)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Kate Putman, Twineham, West Sussex
    Heather Cowper, Bristol (Heather On Her Travels)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Rupee Room (Indian Restaurant), AyrWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Richard Vickers, Sabden, Lancs.
    Karen Servadei, DartfordTwitter
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    Imperial Hotel, GalwayWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    MaryJean (Handmade Soap and Skincare), SpeysideWebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Exmoor House Country Hotel, Exmoor Nat. ParkWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Nigel Heath, Southampton (ataxiafightback)Website
    Wyndham Clampett, Cricklewood, LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Jacqui Allum, Essex (Us Two Friends)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Annaloa Hilmarsdottir, Chacewater, UKFacebook
    Delta Hotels, HalifaxWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Karl Foxley, DerbyWebsiteTwitter
    Gavan Connolly (GC Photographics)WebsiteTwitter
    Sarah Morley, Lichfield (Design For A Day)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Tom Fakler, Basel (Tom Fakler Photography)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Peter S Lewis, Warks. (Steamtube)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hallur Lucien Louis H. Leonsson, Copenhagen
    Yasmeen Lebanese Restaurant, LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Stupor Mundi B&B, Palermo, SicilyWebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Teresa Keane, Harrow (Independent Travel Help)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Jaime Tung, London (angloyankophile)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    The Crossways, North Wooton, nr. WellsWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Jeff Titelius, Florida, USAWebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Jan Hatwell, Horsham, W.Sussex
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    Anita Breland, Basel (Anita's Feast)WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Support & Become a Friend
*Paypal will convert to your currency of choice.

The Global Walk for Ataxia is very generously supported by The Friends of the Global Walk for Ataxia, The UK Hotel Network and Hotels Reviewed.
© Global Walk for Ataxia 2012-2016. All Rights Reserved.