Gabe (10) walks 87 miles to raise money for research into friend’s serious condition

Nicki Lygo with husband Matt, sons Gabe (on his father's shoulders) and Nate and daughter Maddy EMN-161019-173246001
Nicki Lygo with husband Matt, sons Gabe (on his father's shoulders) and Nate and daughter Maddy EMN-161019-173246001
Have your say

A 10-year-old boy walked 87 miles to raise £3,500 for research into a life-limiting condition his friend suffers from.

Gabe Lygo, a pupil at Gaddesby Primary School, spent eight days hiking along The Ridgeway route, which passes from Wiltshire to Buckinghamshire, with mum Nicki.

The boy was inspired to take on the challenge by his eight-year-old friend Tom, who suffers from the rare Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a serious inherited genetic condition which causes progressively severe muscle weakness.

Nicki said: “Gabe wanted to do something for Tom and we are very proud of what he managed to do.

“The most impressive thing was he didn’t have any friends with him - he kept saying his friends were probably at home on the iPad or building a den.

“Physically it’s difficult to walk that kind of distance but mentally it’s harder.

“Every day he would say ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore’ but he kept going.

“It was just me walking with him and acting as his pack horse for eight days but it was lovely for us to spend so much time together.

“I feel I know him much better as a person than I did before.”

Gabe’s walk was part of a remarkable fundraising effort by his Thorpe Satchville-based family in a bid to help fund research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and a cure for it through the charity Duchenne UK.

Nicki’s husband, Matt, who has never run very far in his life before, is completing a sponsored marathon every month for the cause.

And Nicki, a 46-year-old junior doctor who works at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, has recently completed a 540-mile across the Pennines.

Their other children, Maddy (14) and six-year-old Nate, have also raised money for the charity.

In total, the Lygos have raised a total of £17,000 for the cause since the beginning of June, with activities including the Duchenne Dip children’s swimming event.

It all started because of their friendship with Hampshire couple Gary and Becky and the challenges faced by their son Tom.

Nicki added: “This condition normally affects only boys and is 100 per cent fatal with a life expectancy of late teens to early 20s.

“There is hope that the research being done will mean that this generation of sufferers will be the last to die or the first to survive.”

To donate money to the charity go online to the family’s website at