Colin stops in Topsham on his trek for Climb

PUBLISHED: 01:01 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

A 71-YEAR-old retired fireman passed through Topsham this week, on his way to raising £50,000 for the charity Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases (Climb). Colin Snook, from Bognor Regis, is walking 4,000 miles around the coast of Britain, an

A 71-YEAR-old retired fireman passed through Topsham this week, on his way to raising £50,000 for the charity Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases (Climb).Colin Snook, from Bognor Regis, is walking 4,000 miles around the coast of Britain, and was in Topsham for the latest leg of the journey, which should take 11 months to complete. He began his trek a few days before Christmas, and said: "I have wanted to do this ever since I was introduced to a lovely girl who had a metabolic disease from the age of four."She died when she was just 17 and it was heart breaking. It was then I wanted to do something positive for her and other sufferers like her." He said metabolic diseases have no cure and until one is found he just wants to make the lives of suffers that little bit easier.He paid tribute to the people of Topsham and their hospitality: "Everybody has made me feel very welcome."Liz (Hodges) and Ann (Price) put me up at The Globe Hotel last night, while Chris Beard has helped me and Mike (Stevens, the Topsham ferryman) kindly took me across the Exe."I haven't seen as much of the town as I would have liked, but I thank everyone for their kindness."I've done about 200 miles, and I still have several thousand to go."Colin also chatted with Topsham's disabled adventurer and mountain climber Norman Croucher, who had both legs amputated - a man Colin admits he has admiration for because he has competed the John O'Groats walk twice.And Topsham ferryman Mike Stevens gave up his day off to take Colin across the Exe.Mike said: "I've probably saved him only about five miles, but that isn't the point."But more than that, it is involving a part of Topsham's history (the ferry) with Colin's walk and being part of something which is worthwhile."There are 715 metabolic diseases, which occur when a faulty gene causes the chemical and physical changes that take place in a child's body during growth to malfunction.The result is that children born seemingly healthy develop symptoms that can affect their sight, speech, mental and motor abilities and even the major organs.Most sufferers die between the ages of five and 20, and 16,000 families are affected in the UK.Climb provides support, funds research and raises awareness.If you would like to sponsor Colin, go to the website: www.walkgb4climb.org.uk

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