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Mum is so proud after Matt completes 10-country drive in dad's memory

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 19, 2012

  • Jane Handy gives her son Matt a big hug, after completed his 10 countries charity drive. BOJW20121016B-001_C

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A ST AUSTELL man raised more than £1,000 by driving through ten countries in a week in memory of his father.

Matt Handy, from Alexandra Road, lost his father Elon Handy in 2007 at the age of 59 after a three-year battle with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a degenerative neurological disorder which causes problems with movement, balance and other body functions.

Mr Handy, plant centre manager at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, took on the adventure in his 29-year-old Volkswagen Golf.

The 27-year-old cruised through England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

"I'm just so proud of him," said his mum Jane Handy. "The tears were pouring down my face – it was just so emotional because he did it for his dad. It's so wonderful what he's done and I'm going with him next year."

Mr Handy's aim was to raise money for the MSA Trust for research into cures and what causes the disorder, as it is currently unknown, and also to generate awareness. He reached his £1,000 target, with more donations still rolling in.

Matt Handy's father was a builder, originally from Warwickshire, and he first noticed symptoms when he was working on roofs and lost his balance.

About 3,000 families in the UK are affected by MSA at any one time and Mr Handy aims to make the challenge an annual event.

To make a donation, visit www.tencountrychallenge.webs.com.

For information about coping with MSA, call Mrs Handy on 01726 74792.

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