May 24 2004
A Coventry policeman who was told by doctors he could have multiple sclerosis is set to trek 50 miles in aid of research into the disabling condition.
PC Steven Keown, from Walsgrave, aims to raise £1,000 in the MS Society's Big Foot Challenge.
He will join dozens of other walkers for the August weekend event in Cheshire where the 50 miles will be completed over three days with camping overnight.
Steven said his brush with MS inspired him to try and raise funds for the society.
His hope is that some of the money will be raised to improve diagnosis of the dis-ease.
Currently there is no guaranteed test and results are open to interpretation.
He said: "For the last four or five years I have had symptoms which were very close to MS. I have numbness down my right hand side.
"I had investigations because the doctors suspected I had the condition but I have been told at the moment it is not MS.
"I still get migraines which affect one side of my body and makes it numb.
"The thing is, I could have gone somewhere else and seen another consultant who might have decided that it was MS that I had.
"There is no one conclusive test to say, yes this is MS, no this isn't, and early on in the condition the degeneration which characterises MS is not there. It is the uncertainty which is worrying."
Steven does have relapses when his condition becomes worse and during this time he is put on light duties at work or has to take time off.
Recently, his symptoms have eased and he has enjoyed as normal a life as possible with wife Nisha and five-year-old son Jay.
Steven said he had wanted to do some kind of fundraising for the MS Society for a number of years.
"I entered for the London Marathon but wasn't well enough to do the
training so I thought the Big Foot Challenge, while being a pretty scary
50 miles, would be manageable."
Copyright © 2004, Trinity Mirror Plc