Autism, OCD, Tourette’s and leg amputation won’t stop Harley Salter of Portsmouth from taking on the 2.6 challenge using his Alinker walking bike to raise funds for the Huntington’s Disease Association. Starting on 26 April he will run 2.6 miles each day for 10 consecutive days thereby running a full marathon.
The 2.6 challenge is organised by the London Marathon and consists of completing an activity based on the numbers 2.6 or 26 to raise money for charity. Star Wars fanatic, Harley had his foot amputated in 2018 due to a congenital birth defect but has done more than ever to achieve his goals and defy the labels of his disabilities which also include autism, OCD, Tourette’s and anxiety. Harley launched his fundraising page last week and already has over £300 in donations with a final target of £2626.26! The money Harley raises will go to the care and support of those affected by Huntington’s disease, including the Huntington’s Disease Association’s Specialist Advisory Service, online resources and welfare grants.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant there have been many restrictions in the things that I would normally do. Doing this challenge will give me a focus and help me manage my anxieties caused as a result of all the restrictions and changes. I want to do something that can make a difference to people’s lives affected by Huntington’s. The thought that fundraising will be badly impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that might affect much- needed support for families, is something that gravely concerns me.”
Huntington’s disease is a rare neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system and is caused by a faulty gene passed down through families. Described as having motor neurone disease, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease simultaneously, Huntington’s causes changes in the brain affecting movement, feelings, thinking, eating and speech. There are around 8000 people in the UK with Huntington’s and around 32,000 at risk of developing it.
Cath Stanley, Chief Executive, Huntington’s Disease Association said:
“COVID-19 has impacted our fundraising dramatically, threatening the support of those affected by Huntington’s. Fundraisers like Harley not only generate vital funds but also shows support, positivity and determination to the Huntington’s community while raising much-needed awareness of the disease.
“At the Huntington’s Disease Association, we provide various services to people who are affected by Huntington’s. We rely almost entirely on voluntary donations and through the generosity of our supporters deliver support to people across the whole of England and Wales. Our mission is to create a better life for anyone affected by Huntington’s disease.
“COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on our fundraising efforts and is threatening our ability to help and care for those affected by Huntington’s disease. To donate and help us support those affected by Huntington’s during this time, see our COVID-19 appeal. #HDAppealCV19.”