Vet puts his best foot forward for charity...

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HE uses stethoscope and scalpel to help man's best friend continue to enjoy their walkies ...

Now Wigan veterinary surgeon Dr Shams Mir is in training for a mighty march of his own.

He is preparing to take part in the annual charity walk organised by Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK.

Dr Mir hopes that any blisters will be a small price to pay for a good causes and a better understanding of his faith, Islam.

Dr Mir, who is based at Wallgate’s Anrich Veterinary Hospital, is on the hunt for sponsorship as he hopes to raise at least 1,500.

Last year, 3,000 plus Muslims from all walks of life from across the country raised well over 250,000 for organisations ranging from Age Concern to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Shams himself, with generous help from more than a hundred generous friends, neighbours, work colleagues and pet owners, was able to raise more than 1,200.

This year he may yet be accompanied for at least half of the 13-mile long route through the Borough of Croydon in Greater London by his 11-year-old son, Muneeb, school sports day permitting.

Daughter, seven year old Amina, is also helping him with the sponsorship appeal.

Dr Mir, 48, said: “It might sound a lot of effort and sacrifice, but meeting the many people with bodily disabilities taking part in the walk really did put me to shame.

“One pensioner had undergone surgery with implants on his hips and knees.

“I ended up walking alongside the ‘Bionic Man’ which was a very uplifting experience. What makes this charity walk distinctive is that every penny of the money raised is given away to charities because all the administrative expenses are borne by the organisers.”

Last year a third of the funds raised were given away to the ‘Water for Life Scheme’ run by the UK-based international charity Humanity First. The organisation’s aim was to dig 100 wells for drinking water in Africa’s most arid regions.

The remaining two thirds went to a range of British charities.

Dr Mir said that the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community had been working for more than 100 years to alleviate suffering across the world.

He said: “Islam is a completely peaceful faith which puts humanity first and has nothing whatsoever to do with those who commit violence in its name, nothing at all.”