A MAN who fought a rare, debilitating disease is looking for people to join in a sponsored walk later this year.

Martyn Wells, aged 44, of Warndon Villages, Worcester, suffers from polyarteritis nodosa, a rare form of vasculitis – an auto-immune disease affecting blood vessels supplying the body’s organs.

The diagnosis came only after he endured three years of assessment in a bid to identify the condition, which affects some five people in every million.

After 35 nights in hospital, three operations, hundreds of blood tests and more than 100 appointments with seven different consultants, the severely debilitating condition – which is often terminal, was finally diagnosed.

Mr Wells, an information technology director, who has a daughter aged 10 and a son aged eight, said: “I’ve had to endure a harsh treatment regime, including six months’ chemotherapy, long-term steroid use and other immune-system suppressing drugs to put the illness into remission.

“These treatments are not always successful either, and sadly some patients lose their lives. I’m one of the lucky ones.”

He said the disease is now in remission but he may have to continue the drug therapy for the rest of his life.

He has now pledged to conquer all 31 miles of the Worcestershire Way, from Bewdley to Great Malvern starting on June 29, in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the charity Vasculitis UK.

He said: “In the UK, there is very little funding provided to research the causes of the illness or to provide support and information for patients or their families.

“I’m looking for support, either from people who want to take part in the walk with me, or from people who can sponsor me. Any help will be welcome.”

Mr Wells can be contacted at justgiving.com/martynwells.