A TRAIN-MAD pensioner has covered nearly 5,000 miles travelling on the railways to raise money and awareness for charity.
Mike Homer, 76, from Fareham, travelled by train each day for 10 days to visit as many MS Society branches as he could, inspired by his daughter Elizabeth, 41, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012.
His 10-day ‘MSathon’ saw him visit 89 branches as far afield as Warrington, Durham, Cardiff and Canterbury.
Mike left Fareham Railway Station each day at 5.35am and sometimes didn’t get home until midnight.
South West Trains supported Mike’s MSathon by paying his train fares.
Mike aimed to raise £3,000 for the MS Society to thank them for helping Elizabeth.
Everyone has been so kind and supportive.Mike Homer
She suffers from relapsing remitting MS and has unpredictable attacks of symptoms which can then fade away.
She attends an MS support group in Botley.
Mike said he believed a cure for MS would soon be found, and praised the support he has received during the fundraiser.
Mike said: ‘It was absolutely brilliant. Everyone has been so kind and supportive. It’s been great.’
The MS Society was established in 1953 and now has 300 branches with over 38,000 members. It supports those with MS with grants, short breaks, research and a helpline.
A spokesman from the society said: ‘Fundraising is incredibly important to the work we do.
‘The money Mike raised will help us fund ground-breaking and innovative research that could make a real difference to the lives of people with MS.’
Jemima Woolgar from the charity said: ‘Mike has put so much effort into his fundraising, I remember speaking to him over a year ago when his plan had first been decided on so it is great to see if come to fruition.
‘He is a real inspiration and has raised an amazing amount of money that will help us fund ground-breaking research into MS.’
Mike, who retired in 1990, has done a lot for charities over the years, fundraising for the Rowans Hospice and Military Ministries International and organising the Fareham Poppy Appeal.
To make a donation to Mike’s fundraising go to justgiving.com/Mike-Homer.