THE caring aunt of a little boy battling a rare condition will scale new heights in her bid to help find a cure.
Gemma Hanna will swap the North-East for the far east when she walks the Great Wall of China.
She is doing it to raise money for the muscular dystrophy charity Action Duchenne.
Gemma’s two-year-old nephew, Luke Malcolmson, has the rare muscular condition that affects just one in 3,500 boys born in the UK.
She will be joined on the trek by her work colleague, Clair Hebbron, and together they are aiming to raise £10,000 for the charity.
Gemma, 30, of the Dyke House area of Hartlepool, said: “We are going to be walking along the wall for the six days that we are there.
“Luke was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2010, that’s the reason we are working with the charity.
“They raise awareness and funds to pay for clinical trials to try to find a cure for the disease.”
Little Luke, who turns three in a couple of weeks, appeared in the Hartlepool Mail shortly after he was diagnosed with the condition.
It causes muscles to progressively weaken because the muscle cells break down and are gradually lost,
Without treatment, it could leave him unable to walk by the time he is just 10.
But his family including parents Jayne, 38, and Neil, 39, from Glentower Grove, Seaton Carew, are staying positive as Luke’s condition was discovered early.
They have hope that there will be developments over the next few years with treatments.
Gemma and Clair, 32, from Norton, who work for Barclaycard, in Stockton, will jet to China in September.
They need to raise at least £3,500 in sponsorship each but hope to top £10,000.
They will walk around 100km – just over 60 miles – of the wall in six days surrounded by stunning scenery.
Gemma added: “I’m felling very positive about it. I’ve never been to China before.
“Clair has just come back from Kilimanjaro so she will be used to it.”
• To support Gemma’s fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/lukemalcolmson