Born without legs, Richard Pollins is preparing for a long walk after his mother's Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

When Richard Pollins was born without legs some feared he would never be able to walk.

On 14 March, he will make his way through London covering 40 kilometres over four days on artificial legs. Richard, who works as a Planning Editor for ITV News London, is motivated by a very personal cause.

Here, in his own words, Richard explains why he is taking on the challenge.

My name is Richard Pollins. I was born without legs. I had to learn to do things differently at the same stages as everybody else - as a baby, as a child growing up. Learning to balance, learning to walk, learning to do stairs.

Credit: ITV News

I remember my mum saying to me there are a lot of stairs in the world - you're going to have to do stairs! I've generally done everything I've wanted to do so I have been very lucky.

Credit: ITV News
  • In 2016 my mother, Vera was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

  • The condition is caused when cells in the brain stop working

  • It is fatal and there is no cure but funding is needed for more research

I want to make money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association because unfortunately my mum has the condition.

And my mum has really been the person who, above all else, has been behind every success I've had along the way - every challenge I've been able to overcome has been because she has been there making sure the right people has been involved - the right organisations weren't stopping me - and pushing me whenever that was necessary.

Richard as a baby with his mother, Vera Credit: ITV News

Given that when I was first born she was told I would never walk the fact that I'm now doing this walk is something she finds very emotional.

  • I'm starting off at King's College Hospital in Denmark Hill where lots of research to tackle Motor Neurone Disease is done

  • Then going through south London past The Oval and ending up that day at The Shard

  • Then picking up the next day from The Shard going past Buckingham Palace and ending up that day in Trafalgar Square

  • On the third day start in Trafalgar Square along a twisty route through central London to Paddington and finish in Gloucester Square

  • On the final day more of a personal route from Belsize Park at the synagogue where I grew up through to Woodside Park which is where my parents live and the family home where I grew up

I'm aiming to raise £40,000 - it's a lot of money and there are two reasons for that. The first is that Motor Neurone Disease is a terrible condition and it needs a lot of money to get the research into hopefully making the progress that I really want to see happen.

The other reason is that because I'm doing this for my mum she never really got why people do these physical challenges and raise small sums of money when - in her words - they could easily make as much by holding a raffle.

So, I want to make £40,000 beacuse, for me, that is something I would find difficult to do with a raffle.

Watch Richard's story in full below