The idea was kicked off by two keen cyclists Claire Farningham and Vikki Black, who both work at the school and have personal connections to the cause. Vikki’s mum was diagnosed with MND in 2013 and Claire has another friend whose dad sadly passed away from the disease.
MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
Together the pair decided to set themselves the ambitious target of cycling 300 miles each for MND Scotland during September. As their colleagues at Morgan Academy heard about what they were doing, more and more decided to join in; either pledging to cycle or walk between 150-300 miles.
Vikki said, “Since my Mum was diagnosed with MND, my family have been raising money for MND Scotland. The support that Mum and the rest of the family has received has been outstanding but the idea that one day those with MND can be cured is the real motivator for me.”
Claire said, “The reason we have chosen to support MND Scotland is because Vikki’s mum was diagnosed with this awful disease. I also have another friend whose dad was diagnosed with the MND and sadly passed away, so I feel really passionate about raising as much as I can and I believe there needs to be more awareness.
“Our whole team works at Morgan Academy, and we would love to raise awareness and let everyone in Dundee know what we are up to. Many of us felt that one of the costs of lockdown was to our waistlines and our mental health and wellbeing. So, we were looking for a way to improve both and a worthy cause to support.
“We had originally hoped to raise £1,000 but have already doubled that, which is amazing. Many donors have expressed their belief that we are doing a good thing and that they want to support this cause because they know, or have known, MND sufferers.
“During lockdown my daughter and I really started to enjoy the more simple things in life, one of those being getting out on our bikes, so I’m aiming to cycle 300 miles. It won’t be easy, working full time, and looking after a 9-year-old and squeezing in 10 miles on a bike every day - it will certainly be a challenge!”
Aiming to clock up a total of 2,420 miles by the end of September, the team of teachers and office staff are already well on their way, completing 1,190 miles to date.
Vikki said, “Cycling 300 miles over September has been fantastic and the camaraderie amongst the team is great. Dundee and its surroundings have some outstanding cycle routes. Support from our families, friends and colleagues is humbling and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the charity. It really does make a difference to peoples’ lives.”
Claire added, “We are all really enjoying it, and all feeling great! Not only have we raised an amazing amount of money so far, we are also feeling much healthier, and enjoying seeing the sites of Dundee and Fife as we cycle. We all feel that MND deserves more support and want to publicise this as well as raising money. Everything we raise is going towards supporting the valuable work of MND Scotland.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s head of fundraising, said “I’d like to thank the whole team at Morgan Academy for taking on this incredible challenge. Every step they take and mile they cycle is taking us closer to a cure for MND, and helping fund the vital services which make living with MND a little easier for families in Scotland. Without the support of our incredible fundraisers and the generous donations of friends and family, none of that would be possible. We’ll be cheering on the team as they reach their target in the coming weeks.”
Will you be cheering on Team Morgan too? You can support their fundraising efforts by donating online here.
Iain McWhirter - MND Scotland