The Wheelchair Tour of Scotland 2019.
I would prefer to make this journey in one go. However, the progression of my condition now means that I’m limited to about one week away at a time, at most.
Therefore, the tour will be made in two stages (possibly three depending on the future progression of my ataxia).
With each stage being centred around my participation in a specific Kiltwalk. First Glasgow. Followed by Dundee. And possibly Edinburgh too.
The tour will also be train-based. Highlighting the current partnership between MND Scotland and the Scotrail Alliance.
Plus, the tour will also showcase the natural beauty, and attractions, of Scotland. Attractions that are easily accessible by rail. Scotland really is very lucky to have some of the most beautiful railway lines, not just in Europe but, on the planet.
Stage 1. Glasgow Kiltwalk, West Highland Railway, Isle of Skye, Inverness, Edinburgh.
Stage 2. Stirling, Dundee Kiltwalk, Aberdeen, Inverness, Thurso/Wick.
Stage 3 (possible). Falkirk, Borders, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Edinburgh Kiltwalk.
A Wee Bit of Personal History:
I was diagnosed with spinocerebellar ataxia in 2015.
Although I was told that I would eventually need to use a wheelchair (I now do), I could still walk quite well at that stage – although with the, increasing, need of a walking stick.
So I used my final walking days to raise funds and awareness of this rare condition (I raised £1,100 during previous “walking” events – the longest of which was a 500 mile walk in Spain).
Now though, the progression of my ataxia means that my wings have been clipped somewhat. So all future fundraising can only be in Scotland from now on (and even closer to home in Ayrshire in the future perhaps?).
I have chosen MND Scotland as the beneficiary this time. Ataxia is so rare that there is no Scotland-specific charity for the condition, but it has similarities to MND: a neurological condition affecting motor abilities – and similarly incurable at present.
And it is this “at present” which is so important.
If a cure can be found, it will be found. But only as a result of medical research. Which requires funding.
So, to do “my bit”….