A man and his pet have tackled an 84 mile walk in memory of his mum who died of motor neurone disease and have pledged more than one thousand pounds to a Northampton charity.
Charlie Hammerton, 21 of Nottingham and his pet ferret, Bandit walked the length of Hadrian’s Wall in three days and raised more than £3,000 for Northampton-based charity, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association and St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich, surpassing his £1,000 target.
On March 2 this year, Charlie's mum, Jan Hammerton, died of motor neurones disease - a rapidly progressing illness that affects the brain and spinal cord - after being ill for many years.
Charlie said: “The hospice was brilliant with my mum and I also want to support the work the MND Association does to make sure that no one has to go through what mum did in the future.
"It’s been an emotional rollercoaster with a few tough moments - my ankle was so sore at one point I had to take my boots off and walk barefoot for about four miles.
"But I’ll always remember the amazing landscape and the welcome from all the people we met along the way - thanks to the media coverage, lots of people recognised us en route and Bandit has loved all the attention.”
Charlie and Bandit set off on the walk on April 10, trekking 84 miles through the Northumberland countryside, starting at Newcastle and finishing 20 miles west of Carlisle.
The journey took three overnight stops before the pair became the first man and ferret team to complete the course.
Yesterday the duo presented the cheque to the Northampton charity.
Chris James, director of external affairs from the MND Association said: “We rely on people raising awareness and funds to allow us to support people living with MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The money raised also helps us fight the disease through global research programmes.
“Our supporters bake cakes, jump out of planes (wearing parachutes) and run marathons but this is the first time we have had a man and a ferret walking anywhere for us – let alone taking on such a massive challenge.
"It was great to meet them both and be able to thank them in person.”
The MND Association of Notre Dame Mews was founded in 1979 by a group of volunteers with experience of living with or caring for someone with MND and is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.