Home Inspirational Stories Coventry University Academic and Inspirational Brother-In-Law Raise Nearly £45,000 in Motor Neurone Disease Charity Challenge

Coventry University Academic and Inspirational Brother-In-Law Raise Nearly £45,000 in Motor Neurone Disease Charity Challenge

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A Coventry University academic has completed a gruelling charity challenge in support of his brother-in-law who has motor neurone disease (MND).

Thomas Hames, course director for sport and exercise therapy, accompanied Luke Hames-Brown on the 84-mile, eight-day trek along the length of Hadrian’s Wall this month.

Luke, 35, who married Thomas’ sister Kate in 2022, was diagnosed with MND in April last year, having developed weakness in his leg the previous year.

Despite the diagnosis, Luke, who has a background as a doctor and a volunteer for Search and Rescue, is hoping to inspire others struggling with difficult moments to build new memories even in the face of adversity.

Thomas joined Luke and other relatives on the walk and they have so far raised nearly £45,000 for the My Name’5 Doddie foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

MND leads to muscle wasting and over time can impact how you walk, talk, eat and breathe. The average prognosis is 3 years after diagnosis.

The disease has been the focus of national attention in recent weeks following the death of former Rugby League player Rob Burrow, whose tireless work has helped highlight MND.

Thomas said: “I think what Luke is doing is incredible – the positivity that he’s found deep inside himself to do this is amazing. He’s never wanted to stop just because he’s got Motor Neurone Disease. Both him and my sister Kate are strong people, they’ve always been determined to help others.

“It was two months after Luke got married that they realised things were not completely right. They diagnose MND by ruling out everything else so it can take a while to get diagnosed. It’s not something you ever think is going to affect somebody close to you, it’s a life-shortening condition, there’s no cure, it’s something that’s very difficult to come to terms with.

“I know Rob Burrow certainly gave Luke a lot of inspiration to make the best out of all the time you get. Part of this challenge is about inspiring others to make memories when they experience things like this and we’ve made some great memories with Luke on this trip.

“Eight of us including me, Kate, our parents and Luke’s parents did the walk and a number of others joined us to do different parts of the route. It has been a challenge, both physically but also mentally, due to the emotive purpose of the fundraising. This might be the last time he’ll be able to do something like this, but he’s incredibly positive, this is a huge cause for him and the money raised will help fund research into MND to help future generations.”

If you would like to support Luke to raise money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, click here.

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