A mountain rescuer plans to carry a 100kg barbell on his shoulders up Ben Nevis as he raises money for motor neurone disease research.
David Dooher says the weight represents “the burden carried by those who live with MND, and their families”.
He will attempt to break a Guinness World Record as he scales the UK’s highest peak on June 7 this year – his birthday.
His Just Giving appeal has raised more than £2,500 so far for the foundation started by rugby union player Doddie Weir after his MND diagnosis.
The 37-year-old joiner said: “The long road ahead can be daunting but breaking it down and having the mindset to enjoy each step is the way forward for me. It’ll have ups and down, but the finish line will come soon enough.
“I’m embracing this challenge and using my body to its full potential because some people simply can’t, no matter how much they want to.
“Doddie Weir’s mindset and strength was unbelievable.
“With MND, there’s no treatment or cure. Nothing can slow the progression – it’s fatal every single time – but Doddie took that in his stride and continued to fight to find a cure till the very end.
“MND needs funds for research and to help those already diagnosed and their families. It’s the only way it can change. I want to do my bit to continue Doddie’s mission to end MND”.
The father of two, who is rigorously training ahead of the attempt, is a mountain rescue volunteer with several years of experience.
He added: “Training for this challenge has been full-on but carefully planned.
“Staying injury-free is so important so mobility and strengthening the posterior chain and stabilising muscles have been at the forefront ensuring that I can deal with the constant downward pressure of carrying that amount of weight on my shoulders.
“Having an active day job means I’m now consuming 4,000 to 5,000 calories a day to fuel the training and recovery.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated, and for the constant stream of messages of support.
“I’ve climbed Ben Nevis plenty times and it can be tough going without 100kg on my back but, with the support and my purpose front of mind, I think I’ll do it,” Mr Dooher said.
“The 100kg carried on my shoulders is symbolic and is to represent the burden carried by those who live with MND, and their families.
“I’ve already got some brutal training under my belt, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Donations to Mr Dooher’s fundraising page can be made at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-dooher for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Mr Weir, who was capped 61 times for Scotland’s national team, died in November following a six-year battle with MND.