57-year-old Ian Flatt from Green Hammerton, York was diagnosed with MND in 2019. Despite the life-changing impact the condition has had on Ian, his wife, Rachael and their two daughters, Ian is determined to raise funds and awareness of MND.

On Friday 7th July, Ian will start his 9-day trek in Pateley Bridge, taking in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, as his team travel through Bolton Abbey, to Pen-Y-Ghent, before finishing at the highest pub in England, The Tan Hill Inn in Swaledale on Sunday 16th July.

Ian took on his first 100-mile trek in the Summer of 2021, followed by a second challenge in the Autumn and has so far raised an astonishing amount of over £35,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Leeds Hospitals Charity’s appeal to build the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

No stranger to a challenge, Ian has also taken on the 3,560 metres climb up Snowdon and recently completed the first-ever Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon with a team of family and friends. Unable to walk due to his condition, Ian takes on his challenges in his trusty ‘Tangerine Dream Machine’ a specialist wheelchair designed for off-road use.

Ian and his team at the 2023 Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon

Read More: Ian's Snowdon challenge raises thousands to support people living with MND

Ahead of his challenge, we spoke to Ian who told us why he continues to fundraise to support the fight against MND:

“I feel incredibly passionate about the MND community and the beacon of hope that the Rob Burrow MND Centre has become. I’m also acutely aware that sometimes we face difficult challenges with this condition and in life in general.

“I’d just like to think that our adventures bring a smile to people’s faces alongside raising funds and awareness. Perhaps it will inspire somebody to set aside their worries, to live in the moment and find reasons to laugh.”

Leeds Hospitals Charity launched their appeal for a new centre tailored to the needs for people living with MND and their families in 2019, which has now raised £4.5 million of its £6.8 million fundraising target.

Over the past ten years, referrals to the Leeds MND centre at Seacroft Hospital have doubled, with 40 new referrals each year. To continue to provide the best quality service, the team need access to facilities tailored to their patients' specific needs.

Ambitious plans for this bespoke centre include a host of individual treatment rooms, accessible toilets and changing facilities, an education space for staff and hopefully a space where the latest equipment and technologies can be made available for patients to explore.

Ian and Rachael portrait for 7 Stories of MND exhibition

Read Ian's Story: Ian Flatt - 7 Stories of MND

Esther Wakeman, Chief Executive at Leeds Hospitals Charity said:

“I am humbled by the commitment Ian has to raise funds for his fellow patients with motor neurone disease.  Ian and his wife, Rachael, have been fundraising since we announced our Rob Burrow Centre for MND appeal back in September 2021 and I have been heartened by their resilience and positive attitude. 

“It was wonderful to see Ian recognised at the recent Yorkshire Choice Awards for his epic fundraising challenges to support the MND community. It’s thanks to incredible fundraisers like Ian that we can help make a huge difference for people living with this life-limiting condition and their loved ones.”

Angus O’Donnell, Regional Fundraiser for MND Association said:

“People from Yorkshire are made of tough stuff and Ian is a living example of that. Along with the support of his amazing friends and family, Ian continues to fundraise for others despite living with MND himself. Ian’s amazing efforts, help us work for a better life for the 5000 people living with MND in the UK right now.

“The work he has done in his local community, to help raise awareness of MND is huge. Without his efforts the MND Association simply would not be able to fund vital research to find a cure in order to achieve our vision - a world free from MND and we cannot thank him enough.”

Donate to Ian's fundraising page