A man who’s lived with multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 30 years is attempting an incredible challenge in London.

Etac UK customer Stuart Nixon is aiming to walk 60km over nine days to raise £60,000 for the MS Society in its 60th year. It might sound simple but Stuart has used a wheelchair for 15 years and can only walk 10 metres with a stick and the help of his wife.

Stuart’s challenge has been named ‘Stu Steps Up – 100,000 steps for MS’ as he’ll be attempting to take a step for every person in the UK living with MS. The walk will take place along the Jubilee Greenway in London, from St. James’s Park to the Olympic Stadium and back from Saturday 5 October to Sunday 13 October.



Stuart – who’s an MS Society Trustee from Gwent - explains where the idea came from: “I was talking to Christopher Bray, Head of Events at the MS Society, and we thought about what we could do to celebrate the 60th anniversary. I wanted to do something that would be significant. At 3’clock that morning I had an epiphany; I woke my wife up and told her I wanted to walk 60 miles. She told me not to be stupid. We negotiated over breakfast to 60km!”

The 49-year-old who’s married with three sons says he’s already set up a corporate partnership with Arora Hotels (who own and operate Arora and Sofitel Hotels at London Heathrow and Gatwick Airports) which should raise £25,000 of his £60,000 target – and now it’s “down to me to do my stuff.” All the money raised will go to vital research into MS.

As Stuart only has mobility in one leg, design students at Northumbria University have designed a bespoke walking frame for him to use. It supports his immobile leg on a kind of skateboard while his ‘good’ leg propels him along. He picked up the first version of the frame in August: “It was exciting, exhilarating and scary all in one go. I’ve talked about it for nearly a year, up until now it’s been a plan, but suddenly the whole thing is real.”

The frame dubbed “Suzie 1” is very big and a modified version has been created – “Suzie 2” will be ready a few days before the walk.

Stuart admits what he’s taking on will be very tough: “The positive bit of me says it won’t be an issue. I will make this work, between me and my wife Marie. For the last 15 years I’ve been able to walk with a stick and another person for 10 metres. The medical world can’t give me anything that offers more than that. This might not be easy or even very pretty but it will happen – if you always stay with comfortable you’ll never achieve something spectacular!’

Stuart has been training 6 days a week with Suzie 1 and has been endeavouring to strengthen his legs with dips and exercises.

You can sponsor Stuart at:
http://www.justgiving.com/stustepsup

Or you can text SNMS60 to 70070 with your donation.

The MS Society is the leading UK charity for the 100,000 people living with multiple sclerosis. Most people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s.

We’re fighting to improve treatment and care to help people with MS take control of their lives. And with generous support from our donors and fundraisers, we’re funding research to help us beat MS for good.


For more information go to: www.mssociety.org.uk