A YOUNG fund-raiser will go coast to coast to improve awareness of the rare and incurable condition for which he is receiving treatment.
Matthew Gough, from Lowton, suffers from interstitial cystitis (IC), which is a chronic inflammation of the bladder and attends the Hanover Diagnostic Centre each month.
The 19-year-old sports psychology student, who attends the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), will now push himself to the limit by running 140 miles in just seven days in aid of The Bladder and Bowel Foundation.
His fund-raising and awareness drive has received high-profile backing from Leigh MP and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, who is urging residents to dig deep in their pockets and support Matthew’s effort.
Matthew, of Tarnway, said: “I am completing this challenge for all the people who suffer from a bladder or bowel condition and not just IC.
“Living with any chronic illness isn’t just a physical challenge but a mental one also. I hope to raise money to support the great work The Bladder and Bowel Foundation do with their helplines and toilet card initiatives.
“I also hope I can raise more awareness of conditions like IC which are currently relatively unknown to the wider general public. The training is tough and the challenge even tougher but it’s all worth it if I can change just one person’s life for the better.”
Matt’s challenge will see him take on some of the most challenging and undulating terrain in northern England as he makes his way from Whitehaven on the Cumbrian coast to Tynemouth in the North East.
Matthew has been battling IC, which currently has no cure, since he was diagnosed just over a year ago.
His fund-raising challenge is being backed by family and friends who have already got him close to his initial target of £500, while Leigh MP Andy Burnham has also offered a personal message of support and called for more people to donate.
Mr Burnham said: “Matthew is a truly inspirational young man and I am calling on the great Leigh public to support him and his chosen charity to raise money to fund research into this chronic condition.”
Matthew Gough will take on a coast-to-coast challenge in aid of The Bladder and Bowel Foundation, departing on Saturday July 19 and finishing on Friday July 25.
To find out more or donate, visit www.justgiving.com/MattsCoast2CoastChallenge or www.facebook.com/MattsCoast2CoastChallenge