Tim Burdon, Lay Reader at St Cuthbert’s Church in Allendale, will be undertaking a gruelling Boxing Day virtual cycle to the top of Mount Everest to raise money for the charity that helps his friend David, who has motor neurone disease (MND).
MND is a fatal rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work. It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis.
The distance, a whopping total of 8,848m, will take Tim all day to complete and will begin at 7am. He will be joined by his friend Carolyn Pfalzgraf, who will be joining the challenge from her lounge in Peterborough.
Tim said: “I am moved and humbled by the dignity and determination of David and his family. The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone, but they have had to cope with the slow progression of MND during lockdown.
“Climbing Everest on my indoor bike feels like a big challenge, but I know that for David climbing the stairs feels like Everest now.
“There is no cure for MND...yet. A cure is not impossible, but it will only come if research is funded. As well as providing practical support for 1000s of families, the MND Association is funding vital research that will one day bring an end to this disease, I want that day to come sooner rather than later. I'm proud to support them.”
David said: “Having nursed my mum as she died with MND, I have a good idea what's to come. I was told at the time it was not inheritable - my form is! The C9ORF72 mediated ALS I have is the most common form with a known genetic cause. I'm on a genetic therapy clinical trial which may halt the disease.”
The MND Association focuses on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by MND in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can watch a promo for the cycle on Tim's Twitter page here.
You can watch Carolyn and Tim take on the challenge using their Twitch stream and donate to their challenge by visiting their Just Giving Page.
For updates and videos about the challenge, join the discussion on their Facebook page.
For more information about MND and the MND Association please visit www.mndassociation.org