A Wellingborough man is leading a team of more than 40 who are hoping to clock up the miles around the world in 365 days for charity.
When Jay Lucas of Wellingborough worked out the circumference of the earth was approximately 24,881 miles long, he had a crazy thought - and within a few days he’d created a virtual fundraising challenge.
Jay, who has been raising funds for the MND Association since his father died from the disease in 2008, took to Facebook and within a few days the MND Move the World Challenge was created.
Launching tomorrow (Saturday), 42 of Jay’s friends, family and Facebook acquaintances from the UK and overseas will attempt to run, swim, row, cycle, jog or walk the whole distance of the earth’s diameter within one year.
Each time they ‘move’ their distance will be logged on a specially designed website where they’ll be able to keep track of how far they’ve covered.
Jay said: “For the vast majority, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a death sentence and for some it is a lifetime of reliance on others.
“Sadly, for my Pops, his fate was the former and a little over a year after his formal diagnosis, he died.
“Until it hit our family like a thunderbolt, I knew nothing of what MND was and how this cruel disease can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.
“Although there is currently no cure for MND, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life and that is the point of this challenge.”
MND is a rapidly progressive and fatal disease, which can affect any adult at any time and attacks the motor neurones that send messages from the brain to the muscles, leaving people unable to walk, talk or feed themselves.
The cause of the disease is unknown and there is no known cure.
About 5,000 people in the UK have MND at any one time, with half of people with the disease dying within 14 months of diagnosis.
It kills five people every day in the UK.
The Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association is the only national organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland dedicated to the support of people with MND and those who care for them.
The association funds research to understand what causes MND, how to diagnose it and how to effectively treat it so that it no longer devastates lives.
Jay said: “In the team, we have many people affected by and some diagnosed with MND.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve had so far and it will be fantastic to see how well we all do over the next year, moving around the world to raise invaluable funds to help those with MND who may now be struggling to move, and also support further research into this horrendous, indiscriminating illness.”
Sharon King, regional fundraiser for the MND Association, said: “Jay is such a dedicated and inspirational supporter.
“Without people like him the MND Association simply would not be able to provide its vital support services and fund research to find a cure.
“Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”
The startline launch of the MND Move the World Challenge will take place at midday on Saturday (May 6) at Abington Park in Northampton, where dozens of the team will run the first mile together.
To support the MND Move the World Challenge team and make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mndworld or text to donate: MTWC99