A Thorney man is planning to walk part of the Great Wall of China in October to raise money to help a young boy with a rare genetic disorder.
Barry Long (65) who lives in Chestnut Drive has joined the Great Wall – Open Challenge, an organised trek along a 50km section of the wall.
He wants to raise £1,500 to help Brody Kelly, whose grandparents – Tony and Carole Kelly – also live on Chestnut Drive, just a few doors down from Barry.
“Brody was diagnosed at birth with a very rare genetic condition called MECP2 Duplication Syndrome,” said Barry. “It prevents him from walking, talking and he is fed from a feeding tube. On top of this he suffers from respiratory infections, which are common with this condition, as well as daily seizures.
“This could prove fatal for him at any time. I want to raise £1,500 to give Brody and his mother a seaside break in a caravan in the UK as well as purchase a specially adapted chair that fits him and keeps him safe and secure.”
Barry has never been to China but walking on the Great Wall was on his “bucket list” and he’ll be doing the walk with his daughter-in-law.
Nor is he an experienced walker. “I walk the dogs every day, but that’s about it,” he said. “I am reasonably fit and I’m training for the walk, so I’m confident I’ll be able to do it.
“I wanted to use the challenge to help a child and I found out about Brody and his problems at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club. I was telling people what I planned to do, and they mentioned Brody as his grandad is a regular at the club.
“Although we live only a few doors away, I didn’t know them until that point.“
Barry and his wife Sally have lived in Thorney for 18 months, moving here from King’s Lynn where they ran a boarding kennels. Now retired, Barry has previously lived in London and worked for British Gas.
He has created a Go Fund Me page so that people can donate money to the cause online, and this can be found at: www.gofundme.com/barry039s-great-wall-of-china-walk. He also has sponsorship forms in different places around the village, including the Ex-Servicemen’s Club and Paula’s Hair Design. The walk starts on October 18.