Exmouth man to complete virtual walking challenge despite ALD

Ruairí, with the help of his carer, is walking the distance from Lands End to John O'Groats

Ruairí, with the help of his carer, is walking the distance from Lands End to John O'Groats - Credit: Deirdre Corr

An Exmouth man whose rare genetic illness has left him blinded and in need of round-the-clock care is taking on a mammoth virtual challenge to raise awareness of mental health issues. 

Ruairí Corr, 25, was born with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) which left him blind since the age of seven and means he needs one-to-one care support 24 hours a day. 

Despite this, he decided to ‘virtually’ walk from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the Movember movement which aims to raise awareness of mental health especially in adult men. 

Ruairí getting a feel for the route between Lands End and John O'Groats

Ruairí getting a feel for the route between Lands End and John O'Groats - Credit: Deirdre Corr

So far, helped along by his carer, he has covered the equivalent distance to get him to Lancashire and was set to ‘virtually’ arrive in Cumbria ahead of New Year’s Day. 

Ruairí decided to take on this challenge after hearing that the boyfriend of his sister’s friend had committed suicide and aims to raise £1,150 for the cause. 

He said: “I was so sorry that my sister's friend was heartbroken about her boyfriend's death and I desperately wanted to help.  

“She said that raising money for Movember might help prevent someone else having to go through the same grief as her. I want to raise as much money as I can to help.” 

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Ruairí was born with ALD but it didn’t become apparent until was around five years old. 

ALD is terminal without a bone marrow transplant and after he had his, Ruairí became blind and is now hearing and speech impaired as well as suffering with Addison’s Disease which makes simple infections life-threatening. 

He has been walking as far as he can each day and walked nearly 20 miles on Christmas Day. 

His mum, Deirdre Corr, said Rauri has shown ‘incredible determination’ to take on this challenge. 

She added: “The challenge is incredibly impressive for Ruairí, because he goes out and walks in all weather conditions, unable to see where he is and is totally reliant on a carer to keep him safe.  

“The carer carries a bag of emergency medication as Ruairí has fairly regular seizure activity. Because Ruairi cannot see the ground, his carer needs to alert him to any kerbs or uneven ground.  

“He has blisters on his feet, but we dress them with blister plasters and he carries on regardless.” 

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