A Yapton woman and her rescue dog are taking on the challenge of walking 630 miles in support of her sister, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s.
Louise Barnes and walking companion Tilly will be spending more than a month trekking the South West Coast Path, in the hopes of raising £10,000 for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.
Louise said: “We are walking for the sheer pleasure of experiencing this superb coastline, but also in aid of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.
“In 2016 my younger sister, Liz, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at age 40. She is an incredibly caring and motivated person who has devoted her adult life to improving the lives of others.
“Liz is a manager for a fostering agency who is passionate and compassionate about the young people she works with. Despite her diagnosis, and the difficulties it brings, she always endeavours to go the extra mile.”
Setting off from Minehead in Somerset, the walk will take the pair all the way to Poole Harbour in Dorset. Completing the journey is almost equivalent to climbing Mount Everest from sea level four times over.
Louise said: “We have been training for this massive undertaking by walking the South Downs, sometimes leaving home at 5am to beat the heat during the last month.”
Money raised will help to fund research into ways to slow, stop, reverse and ultimately cure Parkinson’s.
Louise said: “I see taking on this challenge and raising a significant amount of money for the trust, as something positive that I can do for my sister, and others like her, who are living with Parkinson’s.
“Walking this far is a massive undertaking and I really want to make it count.”
Representatives from the Cure Parkinson’s Trust have expressed their gratitude to Louise for taking on this challenge, which she has dedicated herself to by taking more than a month off work.
Helen Matthews, deputy chief executive of the charity, said: “Fundraising support is absolutely critical for the charity to enable us to achieve our goal.
“We aim to cure Parkinson’s and the only way we will do this is through the help of all our supporters, it’s as simple as that.”