Barefoot Soldier nears the end of epic walk

Tuesday August 11th 2020

Barefoot Soldier


Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

Chris Brannigan is the Barefoot Soldier. His daughter Hasti is eight years old who dreams of being a chef or a dancer when she grows up, but she also has a rare genetic condition, Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) which currently has no treatment or cure.

Earlier this year he set up a charity, ‘CdLS Hope for Hasti’ (Charity number 1188769). The aim of the charity is to fund the research and development of a ground breaking gene therapy treatment for children suffering from this terrible disease. The total cost is £400,000.

So on Monday 6th July Chris started walking the 700 miles from Land’s End to Edinburgh to raise the funds needed to create a gene therapy treatment to change her fate and to give her the future she deserves.

As Chris says:

“We are running out of time to raise the money as mental decline will start at puberty, and that is not far away for Hasti.”

The soldier is doing the walk while carrying 25kgs of kit on his back with everything he needs to keep going, including his trusty one-man tent which he is sleeping in to keep costs down. He also wears full combat kit including body armour which is heavy and hot. However, there is one thing he is missing. He is not wearing his boots and so he is doing the 700 mile march barefoot.

“I know it’s madness and, if I’m honest, I’m terrified of failing. It is going to be painful and I already have a knee injury, but I am a dad and I have to fight for my little girl Hasti and all the other forgotten children with rare disease.

“1 in 3 of all children with a rare disease never live to celebrate their fifth birthday and 95% of all rare diseases have no treatment. These sick children deserve more than this. Will you help me to change their future?”

Hopeforhastie Facebook page the night before,

Today (Tuesday 11th August) Chris is walking from Jedburgh to Lauder so tomorrow he will likely walk from Lauder to Dalkeith then on to Edinburgh where the finish is at Edinburgh castle after 5pm. His exact route is posted the night before on his Instagram and Facebook page @HopeforHasti.

To donate CLICK HERE.

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