As you enter the winter period, spare a thought for (the most-likely very chilly) David Arnold!

David, the heart-warmingly devoted uncle, has worn a pair of shorts every single day of 2019 in memory of his late niece Louisa, who had Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and passed away October 2018 aged 35.

Louisa’s brain worked but her body didn’t.

She suffered greatly during her life, confined to a wheelchair and relying on others to help her, but had tremendous courage and a great sense of humour.

Her death was extremely traumatic for my brother, his wife and family, who cared for Louisa all her life, and I wanted to do something to help.

David is known as a regular shorts-wearer and, at a New Year’s Eve party last year, he came up with the idea of fundraising  for  Ataxia UK by wearing shorts every day during 2019.

People were shocked and bemused when, at midnight, I walked into a room of partygoers wearing shorts.

I have attended weddings, funerals and concerts wearing shorts. Sometimes I get funny looks from people, but it sparks conversation, which can be helpful for raising awareness of ataxia and my fundraising efforts. Despite feeling uncomfortable wearing shorts at these formal events, and now the weather is getting colder again, whatever discomfort I have is nothing compared to the pain and frustration that Louisa suffered during her life.”

David has donated £1 a day of his own money, and thanks to friends and family, he has raised £3,083 so far to fund research into treatments and a cure for the ataxias, as well as help individuals and families living with the condition.

Fundraising doesn’t have to be running a marathon, climbing a mountain or completing a triathlon. It doesn’t have to require months of training or physical activity. Why not invent your own fundraiser for 2020? You can speak to our Fundraising team on 020 7582 1444 or email [email protected] for more information. We’d love to hear from you!