The former Sky Sports Head of Formula 1, Martin Turner of Oxted, is on the starting grid for a 100 mile walk in Scotland to raise money to battle the disease that he was diagnosed with over two years ago, Parkinson’s and which has led to him quitting his top job that took him to all the races.
And like the fellow sufferer he draws inspiration from, American actor Michael J Fox, Martin is determined to do his best to draw attention to the charity, Parkinson’s UK, which is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe and has so far invested more than £80million in ground-breaking projects.
Last year Martin and Sky Sports darts presenter Dave Clark and lots of friends and supporters and colleagues completed the 200 mile Coast To Coast walk, from Cumbria to Yorkshire and brought in a staggering £150,000 for the charity.
Now Martin and his wife Mandi and Dave and supporters are, on September 3, setting off from Milngavie, near Glasgow, on the West Highland Way, which will take the hikers to Fort William , beneath Ben Nevis.
And then Martin and his fellow ramblers aim to climb Britain’s highest mountain in kilts!
Martin is now accepting donations for his latest adventure under the shadow of Parkinson’s and anyone who wants to go to Scotland join in any of the stages of the Highland fling is most welcome.
Martin said:” Following the success of our Coast to Coast adventure last year we thought we’d better attempt another one and raise some more money towards finding a cure for this currently incurable disease which Dave Clark and I have got to know increasingly well over the past few years. Amongst many other things, walking is a one of the many daily challenges sufferers face along with fatigue and many other unpleasant symptoms, so a long walk followed by a large climb can be pretty daunting but equally, life-affirming.”
Here are some facts about Parkinson’s courtesy of Parkinson’s UK:
Parkinson’s can strike anyone, at any time. Every hour, someone in the UK is told they have Parkinson’s.
It affects 127,000 people in the UK - which is around one in 500 of the population.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity. Hallucinations, depression, pain, lack of sleep and nausea are less commonly known symptoms.
Parkinson’s UK’s mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning.
Current drugs for Parkinson’s don’t stop the condition from getting worse - they only paper over the cracks
Parkinson’s UK needs your help to revolutionise research into Parkinson’s, and bring better treatments in years, not decades
Parkinson’s drugs aren’t good enough. They don’t stop, slow down or reverse the condition - they just mask it for a time. And they can have distressing side effects.
While there are a range of treatments that can help people manage their symptoms for a time, the main drug people rely on, levodopa, hasn’t changed for over 50 years.
Parkinson’s takes away a piece of you every day, and affects entire families. That’s why people with Parkinson’s need a life-changing treatment in years, not decades. They can’t wait any longer-they need action now.
Parkinson’s UK wants to take discoveries out of the lab and turn them into treatments. The charity says it is ready to drive forward the research community in a radical new approach to develop better treatments, faster.
Photos show Martin Turner- photo by John Kane- on the Coast to Coast walk and the route of the West Highland Way in Scotland.