14 July 2013 Ben Nevis climb in aid of Parkinson's

Sun 14th July 2013

Club member Tony Ford, recently diagnosed with Parkinsons, climbed Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, on his birthday.

Parkinson's sufferer Tony Ford climbs Scotland's highest peak on his birthday.
Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Rotary Club member Tony Ford was diagnosed with Parkinson's 2 years ago. Despite this devastating news, Tony has refused to let this deter him from getting on with his life and doing an amazing amount to raise awareness of this condition which affects around 127,000 people in the UK. As well as all his voluntary work, Tony is chairman of East Stirlingshire Football Club and a chance discussion with former player and fellow sufferer Alan James Webster Miller led to the pair agreeing to do what many said was impossible, climbing Scotland's highest peak, Ben Nevis. Never one to shirk from a challenge, Tony immediately set about organising the climb and set the date, 14 July, to coincide with his 52nd  birthday.
Supported by five Rotary club members and a friend, Tony and his team set off at 5am on Sunday to start the climb at 7.30. 5 hours later, the team arrived at the summit at just over 4,400 feet. On the way, they encountered hundreds of others all making their way up, and even found some snow to make it more interesting. Unfortunately low cloud and mist meant the views were somewhat restricted but the conditions meant the temperature was much more bearable.
Dunblane barber, Andy Macholla was supporting the fundraising effort and set up shop offering haircuts to climbers at the top, much to the amusement of, particularly, foreign visitors.
After cracking open the celebratory champagne and an emotional meeting with his friend Alan Miller and his supporters, it was time for Tony and the team to make the long descent. The party arrived back at the start for a celebratory Irn Bru before heading back home, very tired but pleased to have proved that having Parkinson's does not mean sufferers have to stop living their lives. So far, over £1000 has been raised thanks to generous donations.

Donations to this worthwhile cause can be made by following this link to the Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/peak4parkinsons