MND sufferer from Green Hammerton vows to complete 100-mile challenge for Harrogate hospice

A man with terminal motor neurone disease is refusing to let his diagnosis get in the way of raising charity funds.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 12:28 pm

A man with terminal motor neurone disease is refusing to let his diagnosis get in the way of raising charity funds.

Ian Flatt, from Green Hammerton, has pledged to complete a 100-mile challenge in his all-terrain wheelchair to raise funds for Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate and The MND Association.

The 55-year-old will be following the route of some of his favourite walks in the Yorkshire Dales, with the help of his friends and family, including wife Rachael, daughters Charlotte, 20, and 16-year-old Iseabail and his dog Nealla.

He will complete the walks - despite needing a respirator for 16 hours a day - between May 26 and June 19.

Ian was diagnosed with MND, a condition that affects the brain and nerves, in early 2019. He was supported by the hospice and the MNDA from the very start and was keen to give something back.

He said: “St Michael’s Hospice has been incredible to us as a family and the Motor Neurone Disease Association has been so supportive.

“The help and assistance they gave to my daughters in the beginning was just amazing and really helped them to recompense with the fact that we were where we were. And that’s what this is all about - raising awareness of how amazing they are and giving them some support back.”

Ian is hoping to raise £10,000, and has already reached more than £1,700.

He added: “I’m determined to raise what we have set out to do. I’d never been on Facebook, but we set up a group, and have been sharing it among family and friends. I know people in Canada, Wales, London, all over, who are wanting to donate. They will be helping me on the walks too - I will be joined at different points by my family, some of my nurses, Kate Adams from the hospice, and my mum is hoping to be able to get a flight from Vancouver in Canada.

“But many of my friends will be talking part in walks local to them instead. We don’t want to be responsible for a Covid outbreak, so they will be doing the same distance on the same days near where they live, and we will just share our pictures. I used to do a lot of hill walking and fell walking so I’s hoping to do some on my own too, just me and Nealla.

“I’ve lost a lot of my mobility and dexterity, but the main thing is it affects my respiration system. I will have a portable device in the car to be safe, but I have to be plugged into my ventilator for 16 hours a day, so the walks will centre around that. I’ve already been doing some training, going off road in the wheelchair. It won’t be easy but the main thing is to support St Michael’s and the MNDA.”

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