Phil Godfrey, 67, is walking 1,400 miles from the Isles of Scilly to the Shetland Isles in memory of his wife Christine who was diagnosed with APS in 2005 and who passed away in January 2015.
What is APS?
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, is a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots. APS affects three to five times as many women as men.
APS is an autoimmune condition. This means the immune system, which usually protects the body from infection and illness, attacks healthy tissue by mistake.
In APS, the immune system produces abnormal antibodies called antiphospholipid antibodies. These target proteins attached to fat molecules (phospholipids), which makes the blood more likely to clot.
It’s not known what causes the immune system to produce abnormal antibodies but genetic, hormonal and environmental factors are thought to play a part.
APS can affect people of all ages, including children and babies.
However, most people with APS are aged between 20 and 50, and it affects three to five times as many women as men.
It’s not clear how many people in the UK have the condition.
Phil Godfrey hopes to raise £45,000 for the charity APS Support UK . Phil and Christine enjoyed 42 happy years of marriage and spent many holidays walking in the British Isles and Austria.
“After Christine passed away, I felt I should try and help raise the awareness of APS (57% of GPs know nothing of APS). When she was well, Christine and I completed 15 Long Distance Footpaths, and this gave me the idea to walk from the Scilly Isles to the Shetland Islands in her memory”
The walk will start on 10th March and is expected to take Phil five months to complete starting at the western side of St Agnes on the Scilly Isles and finally ending at the northern most tip of Unst in the Shetland Isles.
The Orkney News is following Phil’s blog here and you can too: https://scilliestotheshetlands.wordpress.com/
Reporter: Fiona Grahame