Hartlepool granddad smashes charity challenge by walking more than a million steps after Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

A granddad recently diagnosed with an incurable condition has smashed his target to walk the equivalent of 389 miles in just seven weeks.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:00 am

Michael ‘Mitch’ Wilson, 69, of Hart Station, decided to walk 777,777 steps to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association after he was diagnosed with the life-limiting condition in November.

He more than reached his target, completing the challenge in just three weeks on March 22.

Mitch then kept on walking and together with help from his daughter, Michelle, 40, they managed a grand total of 1,899,598 steps.

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Mitch Wilson, 69, who walked over a million steps in just a few weeks to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease.
Mitch Wilson, 69, who walked over a million steps in just a few weeks to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease.

And he has raised around £2,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association to help others living with the condition which progressively affects the sufferer’s nerves in the brain and spinal chord, leading to muscle weakness, stiffness and waste.

Mitch, a granddad of four, said: “I was walking ten miles a day and my daughter Michelle helped me.

"It was quite tiring but I enjoyed it. I was burning up to 2,500 calories a day.

"The only physical problem I had was the skin on my left heel got hard and split, but I powered on.

Mitch Wilson with his daughter Michelle, left, and grandchildren, left to right, Alice, Thomas, Harry and Fearne.

"I’m very pleased with how much I’ve raised.”

Mitch, also dad to Keith, 45, was sadly diagnosed with MND on the same day he lost his brother Peter to Covid.

He added: “I only wish he was here to have seen me finish my challenge. We were very close.”

Mitch’s speech has started to be affected by his condition but otherwise says he feels fine and is determined to stay as active as he has always been.

He is a dedicated member of the Hartlepool Big Town Tidy Up group picking up litter every day.

Stephanie Steward, senior community fundraiser for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: “Seeing Mitch’s determination to complete this tough challenge has been truly inspiring.

"We are so grateful to him and his daughter Michelle for raising such a huge amount of vital funds for families like theirs, who are affected by MND.

"The funds raised will help us to continue our vital work in providing support for people like Mitch, who are living with MND, campaigning to raise awareness of the disease and funding research to find treatments and ultimately a cure.”

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