A MAN with Huntington's disease will be running 50K to honour his father and raise awareness of the illness.

Joe Riley will run from Southampton to Winchester in memory of his 'loving' and 'kind' dad, Andy Riley.

Andy inherited the gene that causes Huntington’s Disease and died at the age of 64 in June.

The neurological illness can affect both men and women, and it stops parts of the brain from working properly over time. 

Every child conceived naturally by a parent who carries the Huntington’s gene has a 50 per cent chance of acquiring it.

Joe inherited the gene from his father, and until two years ago, he was unaware of Huntington's disease or that it ran in his family.Daily Echo: Joe Riley Joe Riley

He was diagnosed with the condition last year on Friday, August 13, a day he remembers vividly. 

Speaking to the Echo about his 'life-changing diagnosis', Joe said: "I didn't know it was in the family until two years ago during the covid lockdown.  

"My dad wasn't well and he started showing symptoms of this condition. 

"And so I decided to get tested as well. 

"I was totally shocked when the result came back positive." 

Although the 34-year-old Hook resident has accepted his diagnosis, life has thrown him another obstacle.

Huntington's disease has had a significant impact on his family planning. 

Joe and his wife must overcome several medical obstacles to ensure that they do not pass on the defective gene to their children.

Joe added: "It has been a very long journey for me and my wife. But she has been very supportive." 

For his dad and in support of families whose lives are impacted by the condition, Joe is hoping to run 31 miles in a day.Daily Echo:

He will start his challenge on Saturday, September 17, and will travel via the Itchen Valley, Eastleigh, the Southampton Airport Parkway, and finally to Winchester.

Joe, an English teacher at Edgbarrow School in Berkshire, has already raised £5,000 for the charity. 

On his upcoming challenge, he shared: "Dad was going to cycle along with me on the day, but obviously he is not here with us anymore.

"It feels very strange. But I am sure he would have been very proud and this is for him." 

To support, Joe's latest fundraising quest visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/joe-runs-50k-in-a-day