Luke Martin

I am running the Edinburgh Marathon this year for my younger brother Robbie, 23, who was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia when he was 16 years old. Friedreich's ataxia is an autosomal recessive inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. It particularly impacts coordination and development of muscles in the arms and legs.

When he was 18, Robbie was also diagnosed with a curved spine and had a major operation to straighten it. Robbie has since been in a wheelchair and will be for the rest of his life. Both the Ataxia and the operation have had a huge impact on Robbie's quality of life, but his bravery through the last five years and into the unknown has been amazing. He is truly an inspiration, and I am so proud of him.

I am running the marathon to raise funds for the charity and just as importantly, raise awareness. Estimates from recent studies say that there are at least 10,000 adults and around 500 children in the UK with a progressive ataxia. Some forms of ataxia are treatable, but in most cases there is still no cure. Ataxia UK are supporting research and putting all of their efforts in to trying to get treatments or cures for the ataxias. Your support is greatly appreciated and will enable the charity to continue to help others.

Luke Martin