Minehead grandfather on 630-mile trek for charity

Somerset County Gazette: GRANDFATHER John Boniface is walking 630 miles to raise money for a charity which supports his granddaughter. Photo: Submitted. GRANDFATHER John Boniface is walking 630 miles to raise money for a charity which supports his granddaughter. Photo: Submitted.

A GRANDFATHER from Minehead is just over half-way through his 630-mile trek along the South-West coastline, which he is undertaking to raise funds for charity.

John Boniface, 65, decided to walk the beautiful coast in February 2014.

His 15-year-old granddaughter Abbie is affected by Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) which causes muscle weakness in the lower legs and hands.

The condition is currently incurable and affects around 23,000 people in the UK.

John is raising funds for CMT UK, who provide support to people with the condition.

He said: “Having retired, I decided to challenge myself and have now reached the half way mark.

“Some of it has been tough going physically, especially if I’ve not slept well, but I’ve met some fantastic people along the way who have donated when I’ve told them about Abbie.

“I hope the money raised will go towards supporting people with CMT, further research and raising awareness, especially among medical professionals because some know very little about it.

“The condition has caused my granddaughter a lot of pain and has led to her immobility too.”

Abbie has had several operations over the last few years and has been in and out of a wheelchair.

Like most people with CMT, it affects her fingers and toes and because of her short ligaments and long tendons, her kneecaps also keep dislocating.

Her teachers have commended her for being conscientious in catching up and for her brave spirit.

John added: “I’m very proud of Abbie and this has kept me going through any tough times.”

CMT UK helps more than 2,000 people affected by the disease, named after the scientists who discovered it.

You can make a donation to John’s Just Giving Page by visiting:www.justgiving.com/teams/SWCPath14.

To contact CMT UK, call 01202- 432048 or email info@cmtuk.org.uk.

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