By Geoff Berkeley Thursday 22 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 10:05
A COURAGEOUS man from Warndon Villages who suffers from a rare debilitating disease is calling on people to pull on their walking boots and join him on a trek across the countryside to raise funds for charity.
Martyn Wells, 44, has set his sights on completing the 31-mile Worcestershire Way trek in June next year as he attempts to raise awareness of and generate more than £5,000 for Vasculitis UK.
The father-of-two was diagnosed with Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN) - a form of Vasculitis - at the beginning of this year after two years of symptoms.
The disease, which affects the arteries that carry blood to the body’s tissues and organs, has turned Mr Wells’ world upside down.
“In the last three years I have attended hospital more than 100 times, I have seen seven different consultants and I have lost count of the number of blood tests I have had,” he said.
“When the disease hits you, you feel like you have got the flu. You get aching joints, night sweats and tiredness beyond comprehension - even making a cup of tea is too much.
“But I have not let it affect me as I have always gone to work. You have to find a bit of fighting spirit.”
The IT director is currently in the latter stages of six months of chemotherapy, but despite the punishing treatment he is aiming to complete the walk from Bewdley to Great Malvern next summer.
“I have put on nearly four stone since I have been on steroids, so you can see why there is motivation to do something positive about my weight,” he added.
“I have always liked hiking and walking in the countryside and I thought to myself - ‘that sounds like a man-size challenge’, so I am going to take it on.
“But then I thought wouldn’t it be good if others did it with me as they could do it for their own charity or to support Vasculitis UK.”
Anyone who is interested in joining Mr Wells on the walk can visit www.justgiving.com/martynwells where people can also make a donation.
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