Great Wall walk in aid of charity

A Cramlington man will take on an epic walk along a section of the Great Wall of China to raise awareness of a life-threatening disease.

Philip Knowles will undertake his challenge in June to raise awareness of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks itself causing fluctuating but severe weakness of the voluntary muscles.

Philip, whose dad Brian has had myasthenia gravis for several years now, will begin the walk at Badaling, 44 miles north west of Beijing.

Philip said: “The wall is not a flat, easily walked route and I need to be prepared for all weathers with layers of water proof tops, as well as sun protection.

“The wall is very steep at some places so I will be wearing strong hiking boots and a lot of strength and stamina will be required to finish as the crumbling masonry can be uneven and fairly treacherous, and often without guard rails, scary when the wall is an average of 26 ft high.”

Philip aims to finish at Simatai, 68 miles north west of Beijing, after following a much steeper and more hazardous section of the wall, and this will be followed by a four-hour trek to Jingshangling.