A FORMER firefighter is taking on an epic, non-stop charity walk to raise funds to tackle a rare genetic disorder.

Hosted by Blenheim Palace, Mick Dunn, who lives in Kidlington, will attempt to walk 100km through the night - which is more than double the distance of a marathon - to raise funds for Rett UK.

He plans to begin his walk around the Blenheim estate at 8pm on Saturday, June 5, with the aim of completing the walk by 4pm on Sunday.

Mr Dunn is calling the challenge Grace’s Day after his great niece, who has Rett syndrome, and is hoping to raise £2,000 for the charity through online donations.

He also hopes the non-stop charity walk will help raise awareness of the rare condition.

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Mr Dunn said: “By doing this walk and raising awareness and funds for Rett UK I feel I am helping in the only way I know how.”

He added: “The plan is for me to do the whole 100 kilometres within the Blenheim estate without stopping.

“I will be walking through the night and friends and family will be joining me throughout the event to help keep me company.”

Rett syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe mental and physical disability.

It is estimated to affect about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year. The disorder is only very rarely seen in boys.

It is present from conception and usually remains undetected until major regression occurs at around one year of age, when children may lose acquired skills and become withdrawn.

People with Rett syndrome have profound and multiple physical and communication disabilities and are totally reliant on others for support throughout their lives.

Samantha Vaughan from Blenheim Palace said: “We’re delighted to be hosting Grace’s Day and are wishing Mick well on what will, I am sure, be an incredibly tough challenge.”

She added: “Although it is relatively rare, Rett syndrome has a devastating effect on the lives of young girls.

"The money Mick is raising, alongside the awareness he is bringing into this genetic disorder will really help.”

A JustGiving page has been set up for the challenge Grace’s Day, and already Mr Dunn has raised more than £1,700 of his target of £2,500 for Rett UK.

On the fundraising page the former firefighter has been keeping his supporters up to date with his training as he prepares himself for the big 100km walk.

To find out more about Rett Syndrome visit: https://www.rettuk.org/. You can keep up to date with the challenge and donate by visiting the JustGiving page: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/mick-dunn1