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Long distance runner puts best foot forward for Huntington’s disease

Kenny Train from Danderhall, Midlothian took on his toughest endurance test yet to raise money and awareness for families living with an incurable brain condition.

Kenny completed a grueling coast to coast 85 mile run from Inverness to Skye raising £2,500 for the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).

This brings his total amount raised for the charity to more than £10,000. The SHA is the only charity in the country supporting families with the degenerative brain condition Huntington’s disease (HD).

HD is incurable genetic brain disorder that usually starts between the ages of 35 and 45 years. It begins with personality changes that can make those diagnosed aggressive, anxious and depressed. The disease progresses slowly, with changes to muscle control that slowly erodes mobility and the ability to talk. As it progress those affected will need 24 hour care. It is also hereditary with each child of those diagnosed at 50% risk of developing the disease.

Kenny’s dad was diagnosed with HD about 18 years ago.

“My dad developed HD in his late 50’s, which is quite late we have had great support from the SHA so fundraising is important for me. Over the years he’s lost the ability to do things that people take for granted like, walking, talking and eating. It’s very difficult to understand what he’s saying and he needs a feeding bag to ensure the gets enough food and nutrients, because he can’t swallow his food anymore. He spends all day in a special supportive chair.”

The SHA supports families living with HD through a team of specialist nurses, the world’s only HD youth support and a financial wellbeing helpdesk.

Organised by Running The Highlands, and completed over five days, the route was mixture of road and challenging cross country trails. It took him along part of the Great Glen Way, through Glen Affric and Kintail, and finished up running over the Skye Bridge to Kyleakin which really tested Kenny’s resolve.

“I really enjoyed the run. I was amazed at the number of people who supported me through my fundraising page (www.justgiving.com/kennytrain2016) and enjoyed reading the good luck messages. I was truly humbled by the number and value of donations. Some came from people that I’ve not seen for many years. I also posted pictures of the run on Facebook each night got great encouragement from all around the world. That was a real inspiration for me,” he said.

“I’ve not run a marathon yet” said Kenny, so for his next challenge he’s looking at running the multi terrain Fort William Marathon and he’s also considering an offer from SHA to run the London Marathon next year.

“We get many different types of fundraising all of which is appreciated, but Kenny’s is up there with most hardcore endurance tests we ever had. He deserves a massive vote of thanks,” said SHA community fundraising officer, Linda Winters.

Anyone interested in fundraising for the SHA should contact linda.winters@hdscotland.org

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