A MUSCULAR dystrophy sufferer who cannot take more than a few pain-free steps has achieved his goal of walking a mile to his beloved Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium.
Lifelong Leeds fan Martin Hywood described the 40-minute fundraising walk ahead of United’s clash with Bolton Wanderers yesterday (Saturday August 30) as “excruciating” but worthwhile.
For the 40-year-old, who was joined by fellow Leeds supporters on the walk from Holbeck Moor Park, raised enough cash for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign charity to fund 60 hours of research in to the condition.
The-father-of-three said: “When I arrived at Billy Bremner’s statue a round of applause started ringing out and went down Lowfields Road. It was beyond anything I could have expected.”
“Leeds winning the match topped the day off, it was amazing. Some of the Leeds players had heard about the walk on social media and shook my hand and wished me all the best.
“I had described it as doing a marathon. It was excruciating and I was exhausted by the time I got to Billy’s statue. But I had a feeling of fantastic achievement on achieving my goal.”
Martin, who travels to games at Elland Road once a month from his home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, suffers from limb girdle muscular dystrophy.
He received hundreds of messages of support from fellow fans after first speaking out about his condition in 2012.
He wrote for fan site ‘Right in the Gary Kelly’s’ about his determination to push on through agonising pain and burning muscles in order to see Leeds United play.
Martin completed the walk as part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Move a Mile for Muscles summer fundraising drive.
Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said: “Martin deserves enormous support for his mile to Elland Road.
“He endured an extremely painful and difficult physical feat to make a difference to the lives of others.
“There are thousands of people in the UK of all ages who are slowly losing their mobility, owing to a muscle-wasting condition. For some, at an early age, the muscles of their hearts or chests will struggle to keep moving too. We are determined to stop muscles wasting.”
Martin has written a blog about his challenge at http://martinhywood.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-walk.html
To support Martin, visit www.justgiving.com/Martin-Hywood1