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....]

Enter Here: www.100trains.com/prize-raffle/

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

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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 can still walk (of a fashion), 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 my Global Walk for Ataxia journey in any way that you can: Friends of The Global Walk for Ataxia.

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

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 Name and LocationWebsiteFacebook PageTwitter Page
    VIA Rail, CanadaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Inlandsbanan Railway, SwedenWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hotel and Spa Princesa Munia, OviedoWebsiteTwitter
    Ernie Meikle, Greenford, UKFacebook
    Travel Massive, WorldwideWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    City Hotel, Derry/LondonderryWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Absalon Hotel, CopenhagenWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Best Western Sligo Southern Hotel, SligoWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Apple Apartments, BelfastWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    First Great Western RailwaysWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Grand Hotel, FolkestoneWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hotel Gabbiano Azzurro, Golfo Aranci, SardiniaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Tam Donnelly (Ataxia UK London North-Central Branch)WebsiteTwitter
    Visit FlåmWebsiteFacebook
    Iarnród Éireann - Irish RailWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hi-Tec UKWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Blue Train, South AfricaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Comfort Hotel Børsparken, OsloWebsiteFacebook
    Translink - Northern Ireland RailwaysWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Northcote, LancashireWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Aquae Sinis Albergo Diffuso, Cabras, SardiniaWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Juliette Morrison, Hatch EndFacebookTwitter
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    Tom Fakler, Basel (Tom Fakler Photography)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Delta Hotels, HalifaxWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Nigel Heath, Southampton (ataxiafightback)Website
    Terre Bianche Guesthouse, Alghero, SardiniaWebsiteFacebook
    Walter Fano, Venezia (L'altra Venezia)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Kate Putman, Twineham, West Sussex
    Exmoor House Country Hotel, Exmoor Nat. ParkWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Yasmeen Lebanese Restaurant, LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    MK LimitedWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Martina Valcharova, BrnoFacebook
    TPO (the people's operator), LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Penzion Fantazia, PopradWebsite
    Anita Breland, Basel (Anita's Feast)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Fatima and Zara Ben Mimoun, NîmesWebsiteFacebook
    Imperial Hotel, GalwayWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Beech's Fine Chocolates, PrestonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Scottish Football AssociationWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Peter S Lewis, Warks. (Steamtube)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Cottonwood Boutique Hotel, BournemouthWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Rupee Room (Indian Restaurant), AyrWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    West Coast Railways (Jacobite)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Karen Servadei, DartfordTwitter
    Doug Lansky, Stockholm, SwedenWebsiteTwitter
    Hush UKWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Crossways, North Wooton, nr. WellsWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Sarah Morley, Lichfield (Design For A Day)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Waterford Marina Hotel, WaterfordWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Highland Titles, AlderneyWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Jacqui Allum, Essex (Us Two Friends)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Anne Diamond, Sutton Coldfield
    Richard Vickers, Sabden, Lancs.
    Teresa Keane, Harrow (Independent Travel Help)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    MaryJean (Handmade Soap and Skincare), SpeysideWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Antler Guest House, EdinburghWebsiteFacebook
    Jaime Tung, London (angloyankophile)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    The Foodaholic, LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Tim White, Could be AnywhereWebsiteTwitter
    Hilton Ageas Bowl, SouthamptonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Edward Kendal, Nottingham (RailwayManiacs Blog)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Jan Hatwell, Horsham, W.Sussex
    Virginie Bottollier, GrenobleWebsiteFacebook
    Karl Foxley, DerbyWebsiteTwitter
    Maryannick Le Cohu, NiceWebsiteFacebook
    Ian Smith, WorcestershireWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Stupor Mundi B&B, Palermo, SicilyWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Breo Watches and Sunglasses, DundeeWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    João Matias, Östersund, SwedenWebsite
    Jeff Titelius, Florida, USAWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Suzanne Jones (The Travelbunny)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Ffestiniog TravelWebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Gavan Connolly (GC Photographics)WebsiteTwitter
    Lucy Dodsworth, Cheltenham (On The Luce)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Hallur Lucien Louis H. Leonsson, Copenhagen
    Neil Dinnen (Wanderer Photos)WebsiteFacebookTwitter
    Wyndham Clampett, Cricklewood, LondonWebsiteFacebookTwitter
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    Andy Carter (Calling All Stations Blog)WebsiteTwitter
    Annaloa Hilmarsdottir, Chacewater, UKFacebook

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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.
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