Army Major takes on 700-mile barefoot journey to fight for his daughter's future

    Chris Brannigan arrives in Plymouth today as he continues his trek across Britain to find Hope for Hasti

    An Army Major is fighting for his daughter's future with a gruelling 700-mile barefoot trek across Britain as she battles a rare genetic disease.

    Chris Brannigan is taking on the journey for eight-year-old Hasti, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) in 2018.

    Chris will reach Plymouth today (9 July) after travelling all the way from Land's End.

    He then plans to march through Devon until 12 July in a bid to raise £400,000 to fund vital research to give his daughter, Hasti, and other children like her the chance for a better future.

    His final goal is the reach Edinburgh whilst wearing full military kit.

    Heartbroken parents, Chris Brannigan and Hengameh Delfaninejad, were devastated when they were told Hasti's diagnosis meant a series of serious physical and mental health challenges. 

    For children with CdLS the severe mental health challenges often get worse from puberty. They often suffer from seizures and severe anxiety and self-injurious behavior.

    They now live in fear worrying about how the potentially life-limiting condition - which has no cure or treatment - will impact their happy-go-lucky daughter’s future and her dreams of becoming a dancer and chef.

    Although the family's goal is to raise £400,000 initially, their final aim is to hit £2.5million to provide treatment and hope for Hasti and others living with life-limiting genetic diseases, 95% of which currently have no treatment at all.

    Hasti's condition, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), causes reduced growth, global developmental delay, feeding problems, speech and language difficulties, hearing problems and, in many cases, limb abnormalities. 

    With the future for Hasti is uncertain unless a treatment is found, Chris knows it’s a race against time to acquire the funding they need:

    “The support we’ve received so far has been incredible, but we know can’t do it on our own - every penny is vital to achieving our goal to help Hasti, and other children like her.

    “It’s what any parent would do to ensure the best for their child, and we won’t stop fighting for a better future for those affected.” 

    For those wanting to donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BarefootAcrossBritain and share the story using the hashtag #HopeforHasti.

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