A BEARSDEN Parkinson’s disease sufferer is going to climb Kilimanjaro this week - to raise cash for research into the illness.
Bryn Williams (40) was diagnosed with the condition in September 2007 — and within three months he was already planning to create a ‘Wobbly Williams’ website to offer hope and support to others.
He and his supporters have also raised £400,000 so far for Parkinson’s charities and Bryn has run five marathons - the London one twice, Belfast, Chicago and Paris and organised various events including a fake wedding ceremony and black tie dinner last year.
The patent lawyer, who lives in Roman Drive, first saw a doctor back in November 2006 after noticing that his right hand was trembling.
He said: “To begin with the doctor felt that it was nothing to worry about but I ended up going back the following July and my doctor did several tests.
“I actually failed the movement test and I was then referred to a neurologist at the Southern General before I eventually learned that I had Parkinson’s disease.
“My initial thoughts were Muhammed Ali has this and that was it really as I didn’t know what it all meant and what would happen to me.”
The illness, which affects over 100,000 people in Britain at any one time, is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills and speech, as well as other functions. Bryn immediately began searching for information and he discovered that there was not one good source for finding facts on Parkinson’s disease.
The father-of-two, who lives with his wife Vicky and daughters Ella (9) and Rebecca (7), said: “I wanted to show people that having the illness is not all doom and gloom and you can be optimistic, especially since there is a lot of research which seems to be positive about the prospects of finding a cure.”
A team of 29, including Bryn, who are going to climb Kilimanjaro, including Gavin Hastings and Miss Scotland, Jen Reoch - and they aim to get to the top of the mountain, which is 19,341 feet high, on Tuesday - also Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday.
Bryn has been walking as much as he can during the past few months to prepare - he’s climbed Ben Nevis twice, Ben Lomond once, Conic Hill twice and Tinto hill twice, but he is still petrified of what lies ahead. The temperature at the base will be 30 degrees and they will walk through jungles and then face temperatures of minus 10 at the top and glaciers.
For more information and to donate go to www.wobblywilliams.com or www.greatestclimb.com