Ten Country Challenge 2012

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Raising funds for the Multiple System Atrophy Trust

Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.

WHO: Myself, Matt Handy and my navigator Sam Braund.

WHAT:  To drive a 1983 Volkswagen Golf through ten Eastern European Countries within 7 days. A total of sixteen countries shall be covered.

COUNTRIES: England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland

WHEN: October 3rd (World MSA Day) - 9th 2013

What happened in 2012?

WHO: Just myself, Matthew Handy.

WHAT:  To drive a 1983 Volkswagen Golf through ten countries within 7 days. 

COUNTRIES: England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland & Luxembourg.

WHEN: October 8th - 14th 2012

So what is this all about?

Basically I decided to do something to raise awareness of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a terminal neurological disease and funds for the MSA Trust. This disease is not particularly common but does affect over 3,000 people in the UK at any one time.

My dad was diagnosed with MSA in 2004 and sadly passed away in 2007. This challenge is in his memory.

FACTS ON MSA

  • MSA, or multiple system atrophy, is a progressive, neurological disease
  • It is random and indiscriminate, and can affect any one of us
  • About 5 people per 100,000 are affected by MSA – at any one time there are at least 3,000 people living with MSA in the UK
  • Parkinson’s disease is about 36 times commoner, affecting about 180 per 100,000 in the UK
  • MSA usually starts between the ages of 50-60 years, but can affect people younger and older
  • MSA does not appear to be hereditary
  • It is not infectious or contagious
  • There is no connection with the much commoner neurological disease, multiple sclerosis
What is MSA?

Nerve cells in affected areas of the brain atrophy or shrink. Cells are damaged in different areas of the brain controlling different body functions. The three areas most often affected are the basal ganglia, cerebellum and brain stem. It is still unclear as to why cells become damaged in people with MSA and further research is needed.

Further information about MSA can be found on the Multiple System Atrophy Trust’s website, www.msatrust.org.uk.