The family of a teenager who were “preparing for the worst” after he was diagnosed with a rare and incurable condition are launching a campaign to raise awareness.

Giles Hart, of Vera Avenue in Grange Park, was rushed to Chase Farm Hospital six weeks ago after he complained of sinus problems and fatigue.

A trainee doctor spotted a rash beginning to develop and realised the 19-year-old Capel Manor College student was suffering from chronic vasculitis – in which blood vessels become inflamed and the immune system starts to attack itself.

His father Tony, who runs the Harvester pub, said: “It takes some people years and years to get diagnosed - he was lucky but unlucky.

“They were preparing us for the worst, at that stage he was conscious. If he had this in the 1970s he would have died that night. It’s not good, but he’s positive about it.

“A lot of people have got it and don’t know who to talk to – a lot of people you talk to have never come across it.”

Giles, who spent three weeks in intensive care, was diagnosed with a strand of vasculitus known as Wegener's granulomatosis.

Now his family will take part in a six-mile walk along the Thames on June 10 to raise cash for charity Vasculitis UK and raise awareness about the condition.

They are also collecting money for the charity in their pub, and hope to educate people about the disease.

They have already raised £800 towards their £1,000 target, although hope to raise as much money as possible for the good cause.

The disease – which affects just ten to 15 people in every million - attacks most organs in the body, and can cause tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss and fever.

Its cause remains unknown, but experts believe it could be genetic.

Giles also suffers from epilepsy and Asperger's syndrome and has had to take year off from his studies while he recovers.

To visit their fundraising page, click here.