Wadebridge dad Ian Rutherford goes global to help his daughter
A SECURITY consultant from Wadebridge whose daughter is affected by a brain disorder is aiming to conquer walking challenges on four continents to raise money for a charity that offers support for people with the condition.
Ian Rutherford has already hiked across Barbados and next month will be tackling the 550-year-old Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru.
In May he is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and in July he is walking the length of Hadrian's Wall.
The culmination of his fundraising efforts will be next October when Mr Rutherford will be trekking to the base camp of Mount Everest.
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Mr Rutherford's eight-year-old daughter Katie suffers from dystonia, the term used to describe uncontrollable and sometimes painful muscle spasms caused by incorrect signals from the brain. It is estimated to affect at 70,000 people in the UK.
However, other brain functions such as memory and intellect are not affected. There are different types of the condition, focal dystonia being the most common, which affects only one part of the body.
Mr Rutherford is raising money for the Dystonia Society and is hoping to reach a total of £10,000.
He said: "When my daughter was diagnosed with dystonia four years ago, it changed my life. It has changed her life, as it has for thousands of others. By raising funds through sponsorship, I want to help change their lives for the better.
"My challenge is to complete some of the most inhospitable treks around the world, and raise money to help those who suffer from dystonia and create a better awareness of this condition."
He has been training hard for the various challenges he faces and has already received sponsorship from Barclays Bank.
"I've been training extensively on Bodmin Moor and along the North Cornwall coastpath over the last four months, usually with a 40lb pack on my back," he added.
"The funds I raise through sponsorship will help the Dystonia Society to continue their excellent work in helping sufferers, creating awareness and supporting research."
A Barclays' employee, Lynn Pett, who works in Wadebridge, took time out from her day job recently to get involved in fundraising activities to support the Dystonia Society, and the bank will match the amount she has raised up to £750 as part of the Barclays Community Investment 'Charity Begins at Work' Programme.
Kathy Brown community relations officer for Barclays said: "This is a fantastic example of Barclays' staff fundraising with the local community to achieve something which we hope will make a real and lasting difference."
People wishing to sponsor Mr Rutherford should visit www.dystoniatreks.com