A Lake District man will be celebrating his 60th birthday by taking on the Bob Graham Round.

Ant Cornforth is planning to scale 42 peaks in 24 hours, covering more than 66 miles of fell running with an accumulative elevation gain of 8,200 meters, all to raise awareness and money for Genetic Cures for Kids (GC4K).

This cause is close to Mr Cornforth's heart, as he is dedicated to finding a cure for his five-year-old family friend, Tallulah Moon Whitrod who suffers from SPG56.

The challenge will take place on May 19, 2024, adding a level of venture to Ant's birthday celebrations.

He will be running the demanding Bob Graham Round in the English Lake District, an activity that is no easy feat.

While such a challenge may seem overwhelming to many, Mr Cornforth views this as an opportunity to convert his passion for running into much-needed support for GC4K.

The charity was founded by Ant’s Australian friends, Chris and Golden Whitrod, following their daughter’s diagnosis of SPG56, a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Faced with limited options for treatment due to the lack of pharmaceutical investment support for ultra-rare diseases like SPG56, the Whitrod's embarked on a fundraising mission.

Their efforts and the support of #TallulahsArmy, a dedicated force of friends and family, have allowed them to get close to providing a novel cure.

Having made considerable strides over the past three years, the charity is now on the brink of manufacturing a pioneering gene therapy treatment, in line for clinical trials in 2025.

The only obstacle now is the US$3 million cost attached to the project.

Despite the grave prognosis Tallulah was given, Mr Cornforth remains awed by her optimism and determination.

He said: "You would think this devastating disease would cast a shadow over Tallulah’s future as it progresses, but there’s a light in Tallulah Moon that everyone sees through her smiling eyes, and her tenacity and courage against all the odds gives me strength to take on the BG Round."

His Facebook fundraiser, aptly named ‘Milestone Mountain Mission’, seeks to gather further backing for GC4K.

In Mr Cornforth’s words: "By rallying for GC4K, we have the power to make a difference in the lives of these children like Tallulah who are tackling SPG56 and until now, had no hope for a treatment."

Golden Whitrod expressed gratefulness for Mr Cornforth's efforts and highlighted how it has boosted awareness.

She said: "His determination to push beyond personal limits serves as an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless potential for positive change."

To make a significant impact in the fight against rare diseases worldwide, support is welcomed via Mr Cornforth's Facebook fundraiser ‘Milestone Mountain Mission’. Direct donations to Genetic Cures for Kids and their campaign ‘Our Moon’s Mission' can be made at the Our Moon's Mission website.