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Moray woman takes on Andes trek for MND

Pippa Cortis is taking on a six-day Peruvian trek for Lucy Lintott - Scotland's youngest person with MND.

Posted : 23/08/2017

Pippa Cortis (23), from Drybridge in Buckie, will be backpacking through the Andes Mountains this September in aid of MND Scotland.

Pippa’s best friend, Lucy Lintott (23), was diagnosed with MND when she was just 19 years old. To show support for her friend and to help raise money and awareness for a cause which is close to her heart, Pippa will be trekking for six days to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, with 25 other MND Scotland fundraisers.

Pippa, who is head chef at Aberdeen restaurant, Giraffe, said “When Lucy was diagnosed it was such a shock to me. I knew there was something wrong but had no idea it was MND.

“I met up with Lucy in the October (2013) for a quick catch up while she was waiting for her train from Aberdeen back home. This was the first time I'd seen Lucy in about seven months and I could see there was something wrong with the way she was walking. I just thought it was because she'd been sitting on a bus for a few hours so didn’t want to say anything.

“When I did find out Lucy was diagnosed with MND I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a joke that someone just made up. I wasn't really sure what MND was either, I just knew it was what Stephen Hawking has, so after a lot of time on the internet researching it I felt like I had a better understanding as to what MND is.

“When Lucy moved back home to Garmouth I went to visit her. I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know how much the disease would have affected her at this point. I was so happy to see Lucy was still her bubbly normal self; we even made dinner that night.

“Since Lucy's diagnosis we've been on some amazing adventures together. We've been to Italy twice, travelled to the other side of the world together, scuba-dived the Great Barrier Reef, been to concerts and in October we are off to Iceland. Next year I'm having the amazing honour of having Lucy as my bridesmaid.”

On her upcoming trek Pippa said, “Lucy has taught me to never take life for granted and to do everything you want to do. So when I saw the opportunity come up to trek to Machu Picchu, in aid of MND Scotland, I jumped on it and signed up right away.

“I recently climbed Ben Nevis as part of my training and after that I’m feeling pretty confident fitness wise. I’m just really excited to get going now!

“Work is pretty busy but I'm lucky to have a very supportive team who have helped me a lot with my fundraising. With my friends and family I've organised quite a few fundraising events to raise money; I've done a bag pack, coffee mornings, car boot sales, bottle stalls, a quiz night and I even went around pubs in Aberdeen on a Friday night with a donation bucket – that was interesting!

“I really hope by heading to Peru I'll help raise more awareness of MND because we really need to find a cure for this cruel disease.”

Iain McWhirter, head of fundraising and volunteering, said “Since her diagnosis Lucy Lintott has helped raise so much awareness of MND and funds to help support others across the country and it is fantastic to see her friends getting involved and supporting her too.

“This experience will be like none other and Pippa’s motivation and positivity to do something to support her best friend will keep her going to the end. We’re all wishing Pippa and the rest of the team the best of luck!”

To donate to Pippa’s JustGiving page visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pippa-cortis