postman raises over £55,000 for charity on epic 500-mile
amazing Burnham-On-Sea Royal Mail postman has raised more than
£55,000 for charity by completing the final leg of his emotional
500-mile fundraising walk from Edinburgh to London this weekend.
Penfold began his incredible trek on May 27th and reached the
finishing line at the Guild Hall in London on Saturday (June 18th)
where he was led in by a horse-drawn postal carriage, pictured
was given a rousing welcome by family, friends, supporters and
colleagues from the Royal Mail.
has been raising money for the Lily Foundation, a charity that's
close to his heart because his grandson, 18-month-old Frankie,
suffers from life-limiting Mitochondrial Disease, which affects
the central nervous system and has no known cure.
Speaking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, he said: "It's great to have
finished and to have raised such a great total - it's been a great
effort from so many people and I thank everyone who has supported
always say that if I didn't raise more awareness about Mitochondrial
Disease then I wouldn't be happy. I want as many people to be
aware of it as possible so the help available to sufferers increases
and hopefully a cure can be found in the future."
has raised over £55,000 with Royal Mail providing £25,000
as part of the group's celebration of 500 years of the postal
the walk he picked up an ankle injury and a nasty sore on his
right foot but was determined that these would not stop him.
support has been amazing, with so many messages from people backing
me and I am hugely grateful to everyone."
Saturday's final section of the walk he was also joined by cricketer
Phil Tufnell, who walked with him to the finish line over Tower
began his incredible walk from a postal delivery office in Edinburgh,
and has been cheered on by colleagues and family as he walked
the former London to Edinburgh postal route, one of the oldest
postal routes in the UK.
Burnham-On-Sea postie joined Royal Mails 500 year celebrations
in the capital during Saturday.
Mark, 50, has followed in the footsteps of ancient postal carriers
to mark 500 years of the postal service.
of Frankie spurred me on to the finish line," he said. "I
cant thank Royal Mail, my colleagues and the Communications
Workers Union enough, for the first class help, support and organisation
it has taken."
Lily Foundation funds research to improve diagnosis and increase
treatment options for Mitochondrial Disease, and ultimately find
a cure. The charity also raises much needed awareness of the condition
and support families affected by Mitochondrial Disease.
here to find out how to make donations towards Mark's fundraising
twenty minutes a child is born who will develop Mitochondrial
Disease by the age of 16.
is no cure for this disease which is for many debilitating
and life limiting like little Frankie.
When a person has Mitochondrial Disease the Mitochondria
in the cells are not producing enough energy for the cells.
Sometimes they do not work at all, and sometimes they are
just not very efficient.
If a cell does not get enough energy (ATP) it cannot function
is a huge variety in the symptoms and severity of Mitochondrial
Disease. It depends on how many cells are affected, and
where they are in the body.
Every person with Mitochondrial Disease is affected differently.
Each individual affected will have a different combination
of Mitochondria that are working and not working within
However, there are times when particular body systems are
affected in a recognisable pattern and these have particular
names, for example Alpers, Leigh's disease, MELAS and MERRF.
The commonest parts of the body affected are those that
have the highest energy demands; brain, muscle, liver, heart
If a lot of Mitochondria in the body are affected in the
important body organs, like the brain, Mitochondrial disease
can be very serious.
The symptoms of Mitochondrial Disease are usually progressive
in body systems where the cells have a high demand for energy,
such as brain cells.
Is there treatment? Unfortunately there is no cure for Mitochondrial
Disease at present. Treatment is usually supportive to relieve
the symptoms demonstrated, for example treating seizures
can also try to make the respiratory chain more efficient
by using a co-factors and vitamins. Examples of these are
Ubiquinone (Co-factor Q10), Thiamine and Riboflavin.
Some people find that using a special diet can help, and
this varies depending on which part of the respiratory chain
is affected. Any metabolic stress on the body, for example
an illness, has the potential to cause a worsening or progression
of Mitochondrial Disease, as the cells may not be able to
cope with the extra demand placed upon them.
It is difficult to live in a world where all potential metabolic
stresses are removed, but it is important to be aware, so
that early medical advice and treatment of any illness can
The Lily Foundation is currently supporting research initiatives
at Guy's and St Thomas'/Evelina Children's Hospital, Newcastle
University and Great Ormond Street Hospital/ Institute of
Child Health and Sir John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
funding this work, it's hope to enable doctors to get a
better understanding of how mitochondria function. This
will help identify new disease causing genes and improve
the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. This will also lead
to the development of effective treatment options, techniques
to prevent transmission and ultimately to find a cure.