Shropshire Star

MND sufferer who conquered Three Peaks was 'inspired' by late rugby star and campaigner Rob Burrow

An "extremely brave" man with motor neurone disease took inspiration from the late Rob Burrow to scale the Three Peaks with his pals - and raised almost £50,000 for charity.

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Nick Deane, from Shrewsbury, was hit with the "devastating" diagnosis in November last year at the age of 57.

So far, just his speech and swallowing has been affected.

Nick, who has always been an active man and has been a keen runner with the Shropshire Shufflers, wants to make a difference for others with the condition.

He started off by raising £11,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association by running 26 miles across December.

Nick Deane, right, with regional Motor Neurone Disease Association fundraiser Amanda Devlin, left, and his Three Peaks Challenge team

That led to the gruelling challenge of scaling the three peaks alongside nearly 40 people in May.

Nick said: "Together we have so far raised nearly £50,000.

“All of the money will go to research at the Motor Neurone Disease Association. We hope to raise as much as we can.”

Motor neurone disease, which affects the brain and the nerves, has become more in focus in the public eye, with Professor Stephen Hawking, footballer Fernando Ricksen and rugby player Rob Burrow CBE among the public figures to share their diagnosis.

The late rugby star, who died on June 2 aged 41, served to inspire Nick and his team having been a prominent fundraiser.

"He was an amazing man, not just for what he did in his rugby career, but all the amazing work he did to raise awareness and funds for MND," Nick said. "He was a real inspiration for all of us living with the disease."

He added: "I went to the Leeds Rhinos ground and saw all the flowers and notes there for him. It was very emotional."

Meole councillor Bernie Bentick, a friend of Nick, joined him on the Three Peaks challenge.

He said: “I feel honoured to have been part of Nick Deane’s team of 38 volunteers, which has raised over £47,000 for MNDA, the Motor Neurone Disease Charity, as it funds research to find the cause of this cruel, incurable disease.

"Nick bravely completed the challenge, having lots of fun on the way.

"Nick is extremely brave and plucky and has an amazing attitude of positivity despite having this life-limiting disease. I take my hat of to him.

"We would like as many people as possible to continue donating to this very worthwhile cause so that we can try to find the reason that people get Motor Neurone Disease."

Amanda Devlin, regional fundraiser for the charity in the West Midlands, said: "I am absolutely over the moon and delighted with all of the fundraising efforts that Nick and the nearly 40 other people have put in to climb the Three Peaks and to raise nearly £50,000 is absolutely amazing."

To support Nick's fundraising you can donate at gofundme.com/f/i-have-mnd-am-rais ing-as-much-money-as-i-can

You can also follow Nick's journey on his YouTube channel: youtube.com/@NicksMNDFundraising