WHEN Edward Holmes was diagnosed with Parkinson’s he took his doctor’s orders and left a stressful job.
But now the 66-year-old of Holly Street in Gosport will walk 20 miles in snow shoes across the Pyrenees, raising thousands for the charity Parkinson’s UK.
Mr Holmes was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder in 2008 and moved from Newbury in Berkshire to Gosport to live on a boat berthed at Premier Marinas.
He is no stranger to the cold, having spent the winter of 2010 in his boat before moving to his current home in Gloucester House.
The former site manager, whose father died from the disease, has mild Parkinson’s, which affects his right hand.
‘I decided I wanted to do something to raise money – I was going to do a trip to Everest base camp in November but then in the middle of summer I got some tight chest pains,’ he said.
‘I’ve had it all checked out but the doctor said I might have got there but I would’ve come back in a box.
‘The training for Everest would have been major but this is still a lot.
‘Someone said to me I ought to get some tennis rackets and tie them to my shoes and walk through mud.’
He has raised £1,100 of his target £1,340 but found fundraising an uphill struggle.
He is confident he can manage the trek in March, which will see him first acclimatise and receive avalanche training at Bagnères de Luchon in the French Midi-Pyrenees.
He will begin the walk at Aiguestortes National Park in Catalonia, Spain, walking for 20 hours over three days in snow shoes, staying overnight at mountain refuges on the way before reaching the Spanish town of Tredos.
He will complete the walk with six other Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
Visit justgiving.com/edward-holmes2 to donate.