Couple's emotional motives for Great Wall adventure

A Wigan couple who met after losing family members to rare degenerative conditions are set to take on a mammoth trek for charity.
Hannah and Craig in trainingHannah and Craig in training
Hannah and Craig in training

Hannah Daykin and Craig Ball, from Orrell, met at university in 2013, the pair having been united through social media having both raised money for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a neurological condition caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain.

In 2008, Hannah’s dad David was diagnosed with the condition and, sadly, succumbed to it just four years later.

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Ever since, the civil service employee has dedicated vast amounts of time and energy into raising money and awareness of the condition.

Hannah, 27. said fiance Craig planned the perfect fund-raiser - hiking along the Great Wall of China - which he kept a secret until last Christmas morning when he told her her to go look on the calendar for mid-October, which was all blocked out, then handed her a brochure wrapped in Christmas paper for

The PSP Association, which listed words like adventure holiday, surfing, marathon, challenge, Sahara then Great Wall of China Trek.

Hannah said: “After looking through the whole brochure, I still didn’t really understand what the present was. When he told me we were trekking the wall for five days, my confusion – having not owned a pair of walking boots in my life – turned into tears.”

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Hannah, who carried the Olympic torch in 2012 as recognition for her incredible dedication to the PSP Association, received news that they would need to raise £5,000 in less than 10 months for the charity to take part.

Craig has also raised money for degenerative diseases following the death of his nan in 2010, who suffered from corticobasel disease, a condition similar to PSP.

She added: “It took me almost a whole month to tell him I would go but as soon as I did, we started planning for our Chinese New Year party and then got into training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks on April bank holiday – which almost killed me. I considered lying down and waiting for the rescue helicopter to find me. Thanks to a lot of effort from our family and friends, we have just reached our target.

“We both say we’re so lucky for something so wonderful to come out of something so horrific and we immediately have that understanding of the disease and how it affects families so we know how important it is to raise awareness and the funds to put to research. If we can help just one family by the stuff we do, it’ll be a massive success.”

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