Thurso man on virtual Inca Trail for Parkinson’s charity
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A MAN from Thurso set out on Wednesday on a 26.2-mile walk to raise money for charity Parkinson’s UK.
Neil Morrison (62) is walking the distance of the Inca Trail in the countryside around his house and to the beach at Scrabster, with his dogs Holly and Koko.
Before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in February 2018, he had completed the Inca Trail in 2007. It is usually hiked over four days and three nights to Machu Picchu.
Neil was inspired by the 2.6 Challenge – an initiative created by the organisers of the Virgin Money London Marathon to support charities in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The walk will end on Sunday and Neil has raised over £900 so far which will go towards an emergency appeal launched by Parkinson’s UK last month.
The appeal organisers say it must raise £95,000 every week to continue delivering critical support.
Neil said: “I hope the walk will help Parkinson’s UK at this difficult time in supporting people affected by Parkinson’s.
"I decided to take on the 2.6 fundraising challenge because I walked to Machu Picchu in 2007 on the Inca Trail which just so happens to be over 26 miles.
"The idea came to me to repeat the event virtually by adding the walking I do with my dogs together to mimic the route. I am really grateful to the people who have already kindly donated to support this cause.”
Katherine Crawford, director of services at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are so thrilled that Neil is taking on this incredible challenge for Parkinson’s UK, especially during this difficult time.
“Over a million people with Parkinson’s, family members, friends and carers need Parkinson’s UK now more than ever. Parkinson’s puts some people at increased risk of complications if they get coronavirus.
"Because of this, they have serious health concerns and questions – and these are changing every day.
“With the amazing support of people like Neil, we are adapting by boosting our helpline capacity, providing tailored online exercise classes and making sure people who normally receive face-to-face support continue to do so in new ways.”
To support the Parkinson’s UK emergency appeal, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/donate