Trek in memory of pair's father

PUBLISHED: 11:09 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

Chris and Anna are trekking the Pilgrims Trail in memory of their father

Chris and Anna are trekking the Pilgrims Trail in memory of their father

A YEAR on from losing their father to a rare and devastating disease, a brother and sister are preparing for a fundraising trek from England to France in his memory. Peter Dunkerley, from St Albans, was aged 70 when he died from the progressive, degenera

Peter Dunkerley

A YEAR on from losing their father to a rare and devastating disease, a brother and sister are preparing for a fundraising trek from England to France in his memory.

Peter Dunkerley, from St Albans, was aged 70 when he died from the progressive, degenerative and ultimately fatal neurological condition Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) after suffering its crippling consequences for six years.

The illness did not affect his cognition but it robbed him of practically all movement, balance and automatic body functions.

Mr Dunkerley was a chartered ship broker and one of the founder members of St Albans Mencap.

He is survived by his wife Rita, daughter Anna and son Chris, who is married with two children, now aged 10 and seven, who found it particularly difficult to come to terms with their grandfather's untimely death.

Chris and Anna hope that the money raised from their trek will go towards creating some material to help children understand the complex disease.

They will embark on the 155-mile-long Pilgrims Trail on May 21 to raise money for the Sarah Matheson Trust (SMT) which sponsors research into MSA and offers support to the families affected by it.

Peter Dunkerley, along with his wife, became a member of the SMT during his illness and Chris and Anna have pledged to continue to support the charity.

Chris, who works for a pharmaceutical company and lives in Pollicott Close, St Albans, said the charity was an "absolute godsend" in helping the family and his father come to terms with MSA.

Chris and Anna's trek will take them around nine days to complete and will see them walking from Winchester to Portsmouth to catch a ferry to Normandy, before walking to Mont Saint-Michel.

The walk is particularly relevant to their father's memory as his immediate family moved to France nearly 20-years-ago so he knew the region well.

People can sponsor Chris and Anna at http://www.justgiving.com/chrisandannadunkerley

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