Kirsty, a Centre Operations Manager at H&M Customer Services, decided to take on the challenge in memory of Kathleen Gowans, a former Head Teacher at St. Mary's Primary School in Dundee, who passed away within just two years of receiving her devastating diagnosis.
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.
Kirsty said: “Kathleen passing away within two years was extremely hard for everyone but she was surrounded by her loving family and friends; including two daughters, a son and four beautiful grandchildren.
“Before Kathleen was diagnosed I had never heard of MND. I couldn’t believe that the life expectancy was so short and that there was no cure.
Kirsty decided to turn her grief into positive action by lacing up her trainers and pounding the pavements for MND Scotland.
“So few people know about this disease and that’s what keeps me going on, on each and every run.
“In the summer of 2016 my friend Lesley, a Speech and Language Therapist who works with people affected by MND, asked me if I wanted to take part in the MND Scotland Fun Run in Edinburgh.
“Neither of us had taken part in any kind of running before but we decided to go for it, to raise awareness and funds for the charity.
“Since then I’ve fallen in and out of running, so I decided to set myself a new challenge and push myself out of my comfort zone. That’s when I decided to sign up for the Great Women’s 10k race in Glasgow, with Lesley, and set myself the personal challenge of taking on 10 Park Run events in my own training.”
Despite taking on all of her training runs solo, Kristy's power playlists have kept her company, which include some of her favourite songs, such as ‘Let’s Dance’ by David Bowie and the latest tracks from Scottish DJ Calvin Harris.
“The toughest part of the training is the early start on a Saturday and of course spring weather in Glasgow, but at least I’ve got my Spotify to help me stay energised and on track!
“Each week I put on my MND Scotland t-shirt and even if by wearing this it gets people talking about this horrible disease, that is rewarding enough for me.”
Now Kirsty is asking everyone she knows to dig deep and support the charity, in the memory of Kathleen.
“I’m asking everyone I can to dig deep and help support this brilliant cause. Kathleen didn’t have long with MND, but in the time before her mobility was limited, she would attend the MND Scotland Support Groups and she was supported by the charity.
“Now we’re doing all we can to help raise awareness and funds so MND Scotland can keep providing care and support services and funding research into a cure.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s Head of Fundraising, said: “I would like to thank Kirsty for helping raise awareness and funds for MND Scotland by sharing her story.
“We wouldn’t be able to support people affected by MND without the commitment and support from people like her.
“I’m wishing Kirsty all the best in her training and fundraising and we’ll be cheering her on every step of the way.”
If you would like to support Kirsty in her fundraising challenge for MND Scotland, you can sponsor her at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kirsty-andrews12
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