A man from Caerphilly completed a 14.5 mile walk in wet and windy conditions for charity on Saturday, March 16.
Guy Cooper, 43 has multiple sclerosis (MS) and walked through the hilltops and countryside of the Caerphilly basin to raise more than £1,000 for MS-UK.
Mr Cooper started his walk at St Barrwg’s Church in Bedwas, before heading to the top of Mynydd-y-Grug, near Cwmfelinfach.
From there, he headed towards the Sirhowy Valley Country Path to the Machen Mast and then into Lower Machen.
Mr Cooper then made his way to Ruperra Castle in Draethen and the Maenllwyd Inn in Rudry.
He then walked along the Ridgeway path towards Caerphilly mountain, before finishing the walk at Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar.
Mr Cooper said: “It was very hard. The weather was challenging to say the least.
“The wind almost literally blew us off the mountain and gave us a hammering, so we had to change the route slightly.
Mr Cooper was joined by friends Stina Watkins, Tim Meddick and Lyn Engel.
Mr Cooper said: “The last two or three miles I needed their support and encouragement. I wouldn’t have made it without them.
“I’m genuinely so proud that I made it round. I’m grateful to Stina, Tim and Lyn for their encouragement and for keeping me going.”
Mr Cooper lost the vision in his left eye after starting a new job in 2011 and after having an MRI scan, he was told by neurologists he had MS.
He told Caerphilly Observer: “I wanted to push back against MS and came up with the idea of doing my most ambitious hike yet.
Last year, Mr Cooper suffered a relapse with his condition.
He said: “Before my big relapse, I was by Machen Mast and it was the first time I struggled on a walk. I couldn’t move and felt defeated and wanted to give up.
“But my brain kicked in and gave me a surge to carry on. It was the day I failed to quit.
“Seeing that part of the walk again was very emotional. It means a lot to me.”
“I’m filled with pride, joy and relief at the fact I got to the end of the walk. It’s one of my biggest achievements.
“I had the most welcome bacon roll and coffee after the walk had finished.”
Mr Cooper added: “I didn’t think I would raise over £1,000. Even school friends I haven’t spoken to for 25 years have sent me supportive messages.
“It’s incredible how people have rallied around.
“There are people like me who don’t have the support that I have, so if this makes sure MS-UK can continue offering services it will all be worth it.”
MS-UK Community Fundraiser Lucy King said: “Guy has exceeded our expectations, and as a result the response from the MS community has been overwhelming.
“Not only has Guy raised over £1,000 for MS-UK, he has helped to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis across Wales and the UK. We would encourage anybody who has been inspired by Guy’s story, to get in touch with us to find out how they can also get involved.”
To find out more about MS-UK, visit www.MS-UK.org.
To make a donation to help Mr Cooper’s fundraising , visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/guy-cooper2.