2019 has been the ‘busiest year since diagnosis’ yet for Martin Hywood, 46, from Buckinghamshire who has become a leading and respected fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
“I had no idea I was an adventurer until I became one. Adventures certainly have their ups and downs but we have challenged ourselves so much and it really feels like I’m living!”
said Martin who was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy (LMGD) 23 years ago.
This was Martin’s year of Move a Mile for Muscles challenges and it has included climbing Snowdon, as well as moving a mile in the Chilterns and at the London Marathon. So far he’s raised £11,500 for the charity and its research.
“Muscular Dystrophy UK as our shoulder to lean on when as a family we needed it most and that’s why we decided to start fundraising.
“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.”
At the time of diagnosis, Martin was extremely angry and frustrated. He had fallen in his workshop and dislocated his knee, and it just didn’t get any better. Following a referral, he was diagnosed with LGMD.
“As a family we pulled together to help Muscular Dystrophy UK and others affected by the condition. At the time it seemed like the only thing to do in the face of desperate news, but I must say it’s the best move we could have made because, quite simply, we turned something very negative into something very positive.
“We are very proud of our efforts and of all those that have joined our family fund and become one of ‘Hywood’s Heroes’, people helping us to help others.
“To date we have raised over £150,000 and we are not stopping now. In 2020, I will take on my biggest challenge, pushing myself even further than before and we are going international too.”
Martin and his wife Michelle have three daughters: Lucie 26, Olivia 12 and Skye 8.
The ‘Move a Mile for Muscles’ campaign has involved walking to many famous sporting events like The British Grand Prix, the FA cup final, and the Wimbledon walk to watch tennis.
You can find out more about Limb girdle muscular dystrophy on our condition information page.
“I’ve pushed myself to the limit racing around Brands Hatch and we literally moved a mountain when we climbed Snowdon, inspiring 40 other people to come with us.”