St Albans ex-councillor with rare brain condition embarks on last charity sailing competition

John is pushing for more donations as this may be his last chance to fundraise as his health is dete

John is pushing for more donations as this may be his last chance to fundraise as his health is deteriorating - Credit: Archant

Hitting the water for what could be his last time, a former St Albans district councillor will be taking part in a sailing competition for charity.

Despite suffering from a rare brain condition, John Gunner, 57, from Marshalswick, will be embarking on the UK Inland Sailing Championships to raise money for The National Brain Appeal and the RYA Sailability charity.

The competition will take place at Rutland Water in Oakham over the course of two days starting next Thursday, August 19. It will consist of three laps around a square course, sailing downwind around marks that are half a mile apart.

The former Lib Deb councillor, who is now a limited walker and wheelchair user, took part in a similar competition earlier this year to raise money for the same charities and now believes that this is his “last chance” to compete as his health is deteriorating.

He suffers from the brain condition, Cavernoma, which causes stroke-like symptoms. John also has motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis and wants to thank his chosen charities for the support that they have given him.

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He said: “The prospect of this possibly being my last chance is making me even more determined and makes the need for sponsors even more urgent.

“I expect to do reasonably well; it’s all down to wind conditions, I do well in lighter airs so I will pray for that.

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“I have raised about £1,000 online already but I want to maximise this as it may be my last chance.”

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