A Malton firefighter is planning a 10k fundraising walk in full 22kg firefighting kit just months after being diagnosed with both Crohn’s Disease and Long Covid.

Ian Orledge, had suffered from undiagnosed ‘tummy and toilet troubles’ since he was a boy of nine.

The 30-year-old, who lives in Malton, put up with the symptoms for years but, when he began to pass blood, he decided he’d better find out what was wrong.

In February last year, Ian's doctor diagnosed Crohn’s - an inflammatory bowel disease that causes abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition, and which may be caused partly by the body’s own immune system.

Crohn’s cannot be cured, but it can be controlled with the right medication. Ian and his doctor began searching for the right treatment.

But then, in April 2020, just two months after his diagnosis, Ian developed Covid. Ian said: “It started with a really bad cough and I also lost my sense of smell.”

He seemed to be getting better after a couple of weeks - then Ian noticed he was feeling constantly exhausted.

The previously fit retained firefighter was finding that on some days he could hardly walk up the stairs. Eventually Long Covid was diagnosed.

Ian was signed off his firefighting duties and his full-time job as a Yorkshire Water sewage technician for three months. But once he began to recover, he was determined to regain his fitness and started following the BBC’s ‘couch to 5k' fitness programme.

On Saturday, June 26 he’s planning to walk 10 kilometres in his full firefighting kit - complete with breathing apparatus - from Malton fire station to Amotherby and back to raise money for charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK. He set himself an initial target of raising £150 and has already smashed through that, with £315 and counting.

Ian will be joined by his wife Kyrie, while their children Casey and Layla will be at Malton fire station to welcome him back. He's also hoping some of his firefighter colleagues will link up with him at points along the walk.

You can sponsor Ian on his Just Giving page: mywalkit.org.uk/fundraising/ians-10km-walk-for-crohns-and-colitis-uk