Mum's Himalayas hike in memory of husband

Christine is gearing up for a 6-day trek in the Himalayas for husband Tim who had MND.

Mum's Himalayas hike in memory of husband

Posted : 25/01/2021

Christine Lester, from Moray, is gearing up for an incredible challenge in memory of her late husband Tim, who died of motor neurone disease (MND) on their 42nd wedding anniversary.

Christine (61), a Non-Executive Board Member with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, will be taking on a 6-day trek in the Himalayas to raise funds for MND Scotland.

Christine’s husband Tim was diagnosed with MND in 2006 when he was 47 years old, and sadly passed away just 30 months later.

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.

Christine, who is mum to Alex (28), said “The diagnosis came as a massive shock to us, our families and friends. Tim, however, was determined to carry on as best he could and to raise awareness of the condition. So, he started fundraising for MND Scotland who were supporting us. He lobbied the Scottish Parliament on disability rights, appearing on radio and in the newspapers.

“During Tim’s illness, Alex and I cared for him at home. With a lot of support from others, we made the best of those 30 months and lived the best life we could. We travelled, celebrated and did almost everything we had promised we would do together when we eventually retired.

"The last five months of Tim’s life were really tough on us all. Our son Alex was just turning 17 and I was made redundant six weeks before I was widowed. Then on our wedding anniversary in 2009, aged only 49, Tim passed away. He was brave and smiling until the end.”

Christine and her family began fundraising for MND Scotland when Tim was first diagnosed. This included walking the Speyside Way, with Tim joining parts using a wheelchair, and they raised over £13,000.

Now Christine is set to travel to Nepal on 17th September to trek one of the highest mountain ranges in the world – reaching 3,200m on Poon Hill - with 37 other MND Scotland fundraisers.
To prepare for the challenge she is currently hiking the local Moray Marilyns, while aiming to raise £5,000 over the next eight months.

She said, “Tim was a very fit and active man. He loved hill walking and the great outdoors especially the challenge of going above the clouds. I think of him as being there now. I used to join him om ‘easy’ walks, but I couldn’t keep up on the hills and often left him to it. So, this trek up Poon Hill is a huge challenge for me.

“Our whole experience of losing Tim made me very focused on the tragedy of MND, and the hopeless situation faced by families and their support networks. We raised money and awareness back then and now, 11 years on, it seems a good time to do it all again.”

Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s head of fundraising, said “Christine is one of the amazing 38 participants who will be taking on this once-in-a-lifetime challenge to raise funds for MND Scotland.

"Without supporters like Christine we wouldn’t be able to help people affected by MND across the country, when they need us most. Our Himalayas Team are also taking us a step closer to finding a cure for MND, through their incredible fundraising efforts.

"We cannot thank Christine enough for her continued support and for speaking out to help raise awareness.”

You can support Christine in her challenge by donating to her Just Giving page.

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