ICT Technician Raises Money for Parkinson's UK

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Sunday February 11 2018

Hamish and Ramsey pictured on their bike.

AN ICT technician at Inverness College UHI is preparing to take on his biggest challenge yet to raise money for Parkinson’s UK.

Ramsay Wood will run the London Landmarks half marathon on Sunday 25th March, having taken up running just two years ago.

And if that’s not enough, the 41-year-old is planning the Manchester Marathon just two weeks after London, followed by the Loch Ness Etape in April.

It’s all to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, a charity which supports people with the debilitating condition and funds research to find new and better treatments.

1 in 500 people in the UK are affected by Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition which causes involuntary shaking of the body, slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles.

Ramsay’s dad Hamish Wood, a former assistant principal at Inverness College UHI and Highland Council elected member, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

Ramsay said:

“It’s difficult to see someone who has lived such a healthy and active lifestyle now struggle with things that I do without thinking. 

“My dad has cycled all over the world, two major achievements are cycling coast to coast in the USA and to base camp at Mount Everest. 

“His condition has gradually got worse, but ever since he was diagnosed, I knew I wanted to do something for Parkinson’s UK.

“I started running to get fit and lose weight but it’s been life-changing for me, and I can’t wait to take on the half marathon to raise awareness and vital funds to enable research, which will hopefully one day lead to a cure for this debilitating condition.”

Hamish, who represented Aird & Loch Ness as a councillor, visits London every three months to take part in a medical project. 

The project looks at the genetics and bacteria found in the gut and the effect this has on Parkinson’s sufferers. 

As well as taking medication, he has a daily exercise programme, which includes visiting the Highland Cycle Ability Centre, an all-abilities cycle track at Cantray, Cawdor.

He said:

“The condition has been very gradual – I’m just slowing down.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to carry out everyday tasks, but I try to carry on as normal.

‘It just means it takes me twice as long to do things compared to someone without the condition.

“People take their health for granted but you don’t know what you have until it starts to go. “I am so incredibly proud of Ramsay.”

Ramsay’s colleagues at Inverness College UHI organised a Jingle Jog in aid of Parkinson’s UK in December, which raised just short of £300.

There’s also a coffee morning at the campus in the spring.

Parkinson’s UK is one of the London Landmarks’ nominated charities and Ramsay hopes to raise £1000 for the charity.

To sponsor Ramsay, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ramsay-wood1



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