Top award for barefoot fundraiser Chris

A WEST Byfleet father has won a national Pride of Britain award for helping to raise more than £600,000 to find a treatment for his daughter’s rare genetic condition.

Chris Brannigan raised more than half that amount earlier this year by walking 700 miles barefoot from Land’s End to Edinburgh.

Chris Brannigan with Hasti after his epic walk

The fundraising was part of the Hope for Hasti campaign to try to find a treatment for Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS).

Chris’s daughter Hasti, eight, was born with the condition, which leads to various problems which often get worse with age.

He has won the ITV Fundraiser of the Year category, which was presented to him in a surprise filming.

Chris, who is a major in the army, was called to a fake meeting at a base near Winchester, where he was surprised by a camera crew accompanied by his wife Hengameh, Hasti, and their sons Amir and Navid.

Hengameh, Hasti’s mum, with Josh Garman, who accompanied her during the barefoot walk from Chobham to Cobham

“It’s incredible, especially given the number of people nominated who have done amazing things,” Chris told the News & Mail.

“It’s great that we can draw attention to so many families who are struggling in the face of rare diseases.”

The campaign is trying to generate 100,000 signatures on a petition to the government calling for more support for treatments for rare diseases.

Hope for Hasti is being boosted with a 12-week relay by 150 volunteers who are retracing Chris’s walk.

Hengameh walked one section this week, covering 11 miles between Chobham and Cobham.

“It was really tough and makes me wonder again how Christopher did it,” Hengameh said.

“It was very painful with acorns and other bits and pieces on the ground.”

The walkers are using Obama the Llama, Hasti’s favorite soft toy, as a baton that is being carried on each section.

The relay, which is about halfway through, has raised around £30,000.

For more information, and to make donations, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/hopeforhasti. The campaign is also on social media under #HopeForHasti.

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards will be broadcast on ITV on Sunday 1 November at 9pm.

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