Six friends gear up for challenges in David's memory

Six best friends are taking on a range of challenges in memory of David and his father.

Posted : 23/08/2018

It was only in June 2012 that David Trail, a software developer from Daviot in Aberdeenshire, was taking on a sponsored skydive for MND Scotland.

He proudly took on the challenge in memory of his father, Brian Trail, who was diagnosed with the progressive terminal illness Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2008, passing away just three years later in 2011.

But David’s friends and family were left devastated when David, who was engaged to partner Olivia, died suddenly of an unknown cause in early January 2018, just 2 days before his 28th birthday.

Now a group of David’s closest friends are stepping into his shoes to continue David’s journey to raise awareness of MND and to raise funds for the charity MND Scotland.

The group of David’s lifelong friends comprises of Joe Sparshatt (29), Richard Core (29) and William Fletcher (28) who will be taking on the Valencia Marathon on 2nd December. The team also includes siblings Kirsty Jamieson (30) and Rory Jamieson (28), who will be taking on the Great Scottish Swim in Loch Lomond and Glentress Half Marathon, respectively. James Lindsay (29) will be cycling in the 152km-long Skye Mor Sportive.

So far the team has raised an incredible £1,800 for MND Scotland.

Rory, a Radiation Protection Adviser, had been friends with David from the age of seven. They remained close friends throughout high school and became flat mates while at university in Edinburgh. Rory said: “David was engaged to Olivia who was from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and, early last year, David asked me to be his best man.

“Losing David was a huge blow to all of us and I still don’t think I have come to terms with it – he was one of my best friends for 20 years. He was effectively a member of the family and not a day goes by without him being in my thoughts.”

Joe, an IT Project Manager in Edinburgh, had also been friends with David since childhood. He said: “Losing David was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. Rory, Richard, Will, Kirsty and myself, and countless others, loved him as a best friend, and only a few days previously, we had celebrated New Year’s Eve with him in Edinburgh.

“I was next due to see him on Monday 8th January for some beers to celebrate his birthday. It still doesn’t seem real that I’ll never see my friend again. He could annoy us at times to the point of screaming but make us laugh to the point of crying. David’s character was truly one-of-a-kind and I’ll miss him every day.”

The team recognise how important MND Scotland was to David and, as a result, they have decided to raise funds for the charity in his memory.

Joe continued: “David’s family suffered a great deal with MND and so to think we can hopefully raise some money for a very worthy cause will keep us motivated to keep going. Especially the thought of him laughing at our discomfort from somewhere!”

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.

Joe said: “It was such a shame to see David’s dad suffer with the disease, as prior to this you would often see him jogging around the village and being one of the most active members of the community. Even deep into his diagnosis, he was still one of the warmest and caring people, often welcoming us in to his home with David. He still kept up his exercise and we would still see him out and about on his 3-wheeled chair.”

Training is now well underway for the team, with each team member taking on different approaches to dealing with their respective challenges.

Joe said: “My training runs have just started and there's a long way to go. I'm currently following a 16-week training plan and I’m only on week three! Rory has started with his training for the Glentress Half-Marathon, bagging some munros along his miles to help cope with the gradient he'll have to deal with. Kirsty and James are first up with their events, with Kirsty training in not only her local swimming pool but also open water around Edinburgh to get ready for her event in Loch Lomond. James recently completed a 51.6-mile cycle including a 3,475ft elevation gain ahead of his trip to the Isle of Skye.”

“Most of us have spent our 20s drinking and eating too much, so the thought that our efforts will be going to such a worthy cause, in David's memory, will really help get us through. I know somewhere he'll be enjoying our physical pain through these events.”

If you’d like to support Joe and the team, you can sponsor them at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/square0wnz

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