Parkinson’s UK's long-time supporter and Champion of Walking Dave Clark has succeeded in raising over an incredible £150,000 after completing his 200 mile Coast to Coast challenge.
He was helped by a generous £50,000 donation from Sky Sports, where he’s the presenter of their live darts coverage, as well as friend Martin Turner, whose fantastic fundraising went towards Dave’s total.
Martin, who has been living with Parkinson's since his diagnosis in 2015, also joined Dave for the full 13 days of his walk.
Support from friends
Dave, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011, and Martin were accompanied by a whole host of famous faces and friends along the route, including darts stars Wayne Mardle and Dennis Priestly, Chief Executive of the Professional Dart's Corporation Matt Porter, and football journalist Gabriele Marcotti.
Beginning in St Bees, Dave and Martin completed over half a million steps and climbed the equivalent height of Mt Everest before finishing in Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast.
“Having a Parkinson’s diagnosis isn’t the end”
Speaking to Sky Sports about the challenge, Dave said, "It was a much harder challenge than I thought, the tide of positivity that followed us as we crossed England was incredible.
"I walked into the sea at Robin Hood's Bay and definitely had a tear in my eye. I almost wanted to get my boots back on and go back the other way.
"You just escape everything, it's a very simple life. You get your boots and rucksack on and just walk and walk and walk - it was a life-changing experience.
"I wanted to prove that having a diagnosis of Parkinson's isn't the end. You can still lead a very active and positive life. Walking 200 miles just proves that."
Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “All our fundraisers are special, however they choose to support us, and every penny truly does count.
"Now and then somebody does something truly inspirational, which we believe deserves special mention.
"Dave Clark’s 200 mile walk Coast to Coast is certainly one of the fundraising highlights for us this year. Through sheer physical determination and endurance, whilst inspiring others, Dave and his supporters have raised £150,000 for Parkinson’s UK – a truly staggering amount.
"We hope that Dave’s story demonstrates that living with Parkinson’s is no barrier to taking on a special challenge for us, however big or small”.
The money raised from Dave's Coast to Coast Challenge will help us find a cure by funding crucial research projects that Parkinson’s UK is investing in.