Association founder with MND takes on 100km walk

Colin De'ath

One of the MND Association’s founders, Colin De’Ath is set to take on a nine day, 100km charity walk in honour of the Association’s 40th Anniversary.

The 79-year-old, who was diagnosed with MND in 1978, is hoping to raise £4,000 by completing the famous Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, beginning on 21 April.

Following his diagnosis, Colin chose to reach out to people in a similar situation to his own and became part of the group which founded the MND Association in 1979. He volunteered as an Association Visitor (AV) for many years, offering vital support to others with MND and their families.

Colin said:

“I saw people who were going through a similar experience to myself, so I wanted to get out there and help them. In those early years, trained AVs didn’t exist. So I went to the library to find out more information about how to support people, and I learnt on the job. I find it’s really rewarding helping others. Everyone has parts of their life that are difficult, it’s just how we overcome them that counts.”

Colin has a very slow progressing form of MND, which explains why he has defied his initial prognosis of two to three years. To mark the Association’s 40th Anniversary, Colin decided to fundraise for the East Surrey branch, inspired by those he’s met over the years.

Colin said:

“I have always wanted to walk the Camino since my late brother Peter cycled the whole route to Santiago de Compostella many years ago. As I walk, I will be thinking of the hundreds of people living with MND and their families who I have met over the 40 years volunteering for the MND Association. It’s an amazing organisation with dedicated people, professionals and volunteers covering every aspect of supporting people living with MND.”

Joining him on his walk will be his wife Mary and two lifelong friends.

And Colin’s not stopping there. His next challenge will be to complete the Vitality 10k event in London on 27 May alongside his two sons, son-in-law and grandson.

Colin said

“Despite a couple of setbacks in my training, I have been out walking most days. It’s important for me to stay active and do this whilst I still can as I might not be able to do it all again when the Association is 50.”

To support Colin’s fundraising efforts please visit

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262