THE final annual 127-mile walk to help people with a rare neurological disorder has raised more than £3,500.

The arduous Walk for Estelle along the full length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal was staged last month to collect cash for people with the degenerative condition Rett Syndrome.

Walkers included dad Alistair Dickinson, of Thwaites Brow, Keighley, whose 12-year-old daughter Estelle has Rett Syndrome.

Mr Dickinson said: "The challenge proved to be as tough as ever this year. We faced four days of walking 12-15 hours per day in the sweltering sun suffering terribly with badly blistered feet, swollen ankles and sun stroke.

"On the fourth day, from Skipton to Leeds, our ever-present walker Debbie Shipley suffered sun stroke just six miles from Leeds. This was the only time in the last three years that I was seriously concerned and I considered calling for medical help.

"But through sheer grit and determination Debbie did Team Estelle proud in finishing the full walk. All the walkers stood strongly together with her in her moment of need.

"This challenge is not for the faint hearted. I've have had many people tell me that it should be easy to walk the canal as it's 'all flat walking'.

"But with such a big distance using limited muscles over such a short space of time my response is that it's not easy at all, and that they should try it themselves some day.

"I'm immensely proud of what the walkers have achieved this year, all in the name of Estelle. She's a huge inspiration to us all."

An after-party at the Roebuck Pub, in Utley, contributed £375 to the total fundraising sum through raffles and auctions. People can still donate at

Rett Syndrome is a genetic condition that almost exclusively affects girls. It normally hits when they are between 12 and 14 months old and halts their development.

Mr Dickinson said his own daughter had just begun to learn to talk, but when she was 13-months-old she stopped speaking, playing with certain toys and interacting with people.

Her condition also severely affects her digestive system and motor skills, which means that physically and mentally she is much younger than her actual age.