Teenager with genetic mobility issues walks 1000 miles for charity

Video report by ITV Granada Reports Correspondent Rob Smith

A teenager with mobility issues, due to a genetic condition, has walked 1000 miles to raise money for charity.

Melissa McComas, from St Helens, has Angelman Syndrome which affects her nervous system impacting walking, speech and triggering seizures. The condition also causes those with it to smile and laugh near constantly.

The teenager's near-constant smile is one of the features of Angelman Syndrome

The 18-year-old started the walk, with her family, back in Spring to fundraise for the Steve Prescott Foundation.

Melissa's journey was done in stages over several months and included a trek up Snowdon. A team of climbers helped her to reach the summit with a combination of steps and being carried.

Through a special talking tablet, and with help from her family, she told Granada Reports that it felt "amazing to conquer" the mountain and she feels "really proud."

Climbers helped Melissa to conquer Snowdon as she could not walk the whole way

Mum Kathryn says the 1000 miles started as a "few minutes" of walking each day and slowly mounted up.

She says Melissa "amazes... every single day" doing things that no-one ever thought she could.

Melissa's Mum, Kathryn, says the "steps just added up to miles"
Melissa covered much of the distance on streets and parkland near her home

Walkers all over the world also covered their own 1000 miles for the same charity. Melissa's fundraising total, of more than £6600, is the highest among them. You can find out more about it here.