A national charity is appealing to Knutsford residents to trek the length of the Great Wall of China to help change the lives of thousands of families living with muscle-wasting conditions.

This October a group of trekkers will embark on a tough journey along the Great Wall of China braving freezing temperatures and 80kms of rugged path and stairways, to help the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign fund ground breaking research, offer free emotional support and expert advice for families and award grants towards vital equipment such as wheelchairs. The charity is appealing for further recruits with the resolve to get fit and join the challenge.

Muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions cause muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing disability. The conditions may affect not only the muscles in the limbs, but also those of the heart and lungs, sometimes significantly shortening life-expectancy.

Karen Robinson from Crewe, whose six-year-old son Thomas has the muscle-wasting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, said: “Muscular dystrophy is not a condition that everyone has heard of, but it has an enormous impact on families like ours who live with it. Thomas knows he has 'poorly legs', but he loves to dance and ride his bike - he quickly gets tired and can't keep up with his friends, but his taste for an adventure never fails.

"He is a lovely, cheeky, typical six-year-old boy full of fun and mischief and makes us laugh everyday - he definitely keeps us all going. With the support of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, we have real hope for the future - with the right treatments, lots of support, and hopefully some positive results from the many research projects currently underway, we hope that Thomas might be able to lead a long and healthy life.”

Charles Horton, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s North West Volunteer Fundraising Manager, said: “Every £150 raised could fund a full day of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s information and support line or hours of a leading scientist’s research into treatments.

"By taking on a major fundraising challenge like this, you alone could fund two weeks of research or ensure vital support and help is at the end of the telephone for 170 families. Why not use 2014 to change people’s lives and resolve to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. We have a huge range of challenge treks available to choose from.

"As well as China there is Kilimanjaro, Machu Pichu, Iceland, Borneo and many other destinations. Taking on an Overseas challenge is something you will never forget.”

Those taking part in the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s overseas challenges are asked to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship, with the charity offering ongoing fundraising advice and support.