Diane, an NHS Intensive Care Nurse, is taking on the challenge in loving memory of her father, who was diagnosed with the progressive terminal illness in Sept 2002, dying just 3 years later in April 2005.
Diane (pictured above with her mother, father and brother) is married to husband Michael and the couple are parents to Andrew (12) and Jamie (11).
She will be joined by her best friend Muriel on the challenge, which will involve 5 days of trekking through the Andes, where they will test their metal with challenging terrain, searing hot days and bitter cold nights.
Diane said: “The challenge starts in the Inca capital of Cusco, at an altitude of 3,300m, where I’ll acclimatise to the high altitude. There are thousands of Inca trails but only one that takes you through the majestic Sun Gate and into the fascinating ruins of Machu Picchu. The classic Inca trail includes trekking 3 high mountain passes – the highest being 4,200m. The trek will be tough and will certainly test me.”
Diane will give up all of her creature comforts on the trek, which involves camping in basic campsites along the Inca Trail, relying on her broken-in boots and trusty walking poles to get her through.
“I’m feeling so determined to take on this challenge to raise awareness and funds for MND Scotland.
“People who know me well know that I’m not the biggest fan of climbing hills. I love to walk, but mostly on the flat. In preparation for the Inca Trail in August I’m doing the 1000 mile walking challenge, to get myself clocking up the miles.
“My husband Michael is a very keen hill walker, so he’s helping me to train on varying hills and mountains throughout Scotland. I’m also planning to get back to ballroom dancing to help with my general fitness.
“In 2005 I lost my dad, Jim Murdoch, to MND and there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of him. My big cousin, Robert Morrow, also fought this horrible disease. He died at the young age of 44, leaving 2 young girls behind. It’s because of them that I’m so determined to raise funds to help support others affected by this devastating disease.
“Last year, I took part in MND Scotland’s annual Fun Run around Strathclyde Park in Glasgow. I was so humbled by how many people there were suffering from this horrible incurable disease. It also made me think that my cousin Robert died at 44, which is the same age I was at the time.
“Robert left behind two young girls and it made me realise that it could have been me with my two young sons. I also couldn’t imagine how my mum would’ve coped burying her child the way that my aunt and uncle did. No parent should ever have to bury their children at any age. It was at this moment that I realised that I wanted to do more to support others with this disease.”
“MND Scotland helped both my dad and cousin by providing them with specialist nurses who supported them from diagnosis to death. The charity also helped make holidays possible for my cousin, including a trip to see Scotland at Murrayfield, a day which he shared with his sister Christina and his daughters Shannon and Caitlyn.”
Diane has set herself a goal of trying to raise £10,000. To help get to the goal, Diane has now set up a fundraising committee, supported by her close friends and family, to help plan out her fundraising efforts for the charity.
“I’ve taken on of a few different fundraising activities, from bag packing, a ‘Guess the Baby’ competition at work, and a Christmas shopping/craft afternoon in Craigie Village Hall in November.
“My next big event is a 80s charity night in New Farm Community Centre in Kilmarnock. I chose a 80s night as I love 80s music. I’m also incorporating a quiz, as anyone who knew my dad knows that he was the quizmaster extraordinaire.
“I would appreciate any sponsorship or donations to help me reach my target to take on this challenge of a lifetime for MND Scotland.”
Iain McWhirter, Head of Fundraising at MND Scotland, said: “I’d like to thank Diane for taking on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to help raise the profile of MND and funds for the charity.
“MND Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland providing information, care and support to people affected by MND, as well as funding cutting-edge research into a cure. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it wasn’t for people like Diane, who are willing to take on life-changing challenges, like this one, to help raise sponsorship.
“I’m wishing Diane all the best for her fundraising and for the Inca Trail trek, all of the team at MND Scotland will be cheering her on.”
If you would like to support Diane, you can sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/diane-bowler13
11 February 2019
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