MND patient completes Hadrian's Wall challenge despite falls

Luke Hames-Brown has a mousey brown beard and short hair and Kate has blonde, shoulder length hair. They're both carrying rucksacks and MND Association snoods
Luke Hames-Brown (left) and wife Kate (right) celebrated their second wedding anniversary on the walk [MY NAME’5 DODDIE FOUNDATION]

A man with motor neurone disease (MND) completed an eight-day charity walk along the length of Hadrian's Wall despite two bad falls on the first day.

Luke Hames-Brown, 35, from Wheatley, near Oxford, was diagnosed with MND in April 2023 and completed the challenge with his wife Kate and other family and friends.

The 84-mile (135km) trek has raised more than £40,000, smashing an initial £5,000 target.

The money raised will be donated to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and other charities, including the MND Association (MNDA) and Petals.

Dr Hames-Brown said the challenge was nearly over before it began when he suffered a fall just before the start line and another head-first tumble 13 miles (21km) into the 14.2-mile (23km) walk on the first day.

He said: “It was incredibly tough… there was a full rollercoaster of emotions and, as I lay there [after the second fall], I thought ‘I’m not sure I can do this'.

“I thought of all the people following the challenge, the people I was doing this for, my family, other people with MND, and campaigners like Doddie Weir and Rob Burrow – I didn’t want failure to be the narrative for me."

He said he realised it was "all part of the journey, making adaptations so I could continue doing the things I care about".

"It didn’t mean giving up!" he said, adding: "Getting up and walking again the next day was hard, but I was determined to keep going.”

Luke Hames-Brown is on the right, wearing a waterproof coat and carrying a rucksack; Kate, his wife, is wearing a purple coat and is also carrying a rucksack
Dr Hames-Brown completed the eight-day challenge despite falling twice on the first day [MY NAME’5 DODDIE FOUNDATION]

Dr Hames-Brown retired as a GP earlier this year to spend more time with his family following his diagnosis.

He said he started noticing his foot catching on the ground while out running in early 2022.

After speaking to his GP and a neurology team in Oxford, he was sent for further investigations before receiving his diagnosis.

He and his wife Kate, 38, celebrated their second wedding anniversary on the walk.

“When Kate and I got married we never thought we’d be celebrating our second wedding anniversary under these circumstances, but in many ways it made me appreciate Kate and all I have even more,” he said.

“The quiet moments and time spent with my family were the most special. I think it’s so important that we take the time to notice and share all the positive things that happen, even the small ones make dealing with the tough times easier.”

Family and friends with Dr Hames-Brown and Kate, his wife, along Hadrian's Wall
Family and friends helped Dr Hames-Brown throughout the challenge [MY NAME’5 DODDIE FOUNDATION ]

There is no cure for MND, which affects about 5,000 adults in the UK, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to three years, according to the MNDA.

MND campaigner and former rugby league player Rob Burrow died earlier this month aged 41. Dr Hames-Brown had hoped to meet him following his Hadrian’s Wall challenge.

Hadrian's Wall runs from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east of England to Bowness-on-Solway, Cumbria, in the west.

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