A HELENSBURGH man will tackle the world’s biggest half marathon to raise money for Parkinson’s UK in memory of his mum.

Fergus Smith, 39, has already raised almost £2,000 for Parkinson’s UK, a charity close to his heart. His mum Rachel was diagnosed in 1994 at the age of 48 and lived with Parkinson’s until her death last November.

Fergus decided to participate in the Great North Run 2017 on Sunday, September 10 not only as a personal challenge, but also to raise money for and to continue to raise awareness of Parkinson’s Disease as the researchers strive towards finding a cure.

He said: “Mum lived with the condition for 22 years. Thankfully the progression of the condition was slow so for many years she was able to enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Mum lived life to the full and she faced every new day with great dignity and stoicism.

“Her courage was an inspiration to not only our family, but to all those who knew her or came into contact with her. As a family we will continue to remember her for her warmth, love, smiles and the wonderful times that she shared with us.

“I know Parkinson’s UK researchers are striving to find a cure or better treatments and I hope that as many people as possible will support me.”

Fergus’ dad Stuart is also playing his part to raise awareness of the condition by working with members of the local Helensburgh and Dumbarton Parkinson’s Support Group and sharing his experiences of living with Parkinson’s in the family in a bid to help others.

He said: “It’s fantastic that Fergus is doing the run, I know that Rachel would have been so proud of him.”

Jan Mattison, West Scotland regional fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK, said: “Fergus’s hard work will help us deliver our commitment to enabling everyone with Parkinson’s, and their families, to be able to access high quality local services wherever they live.

“Good local services can make an enormous difference to people’s day-to-day lives and are highly valued by people affected by Parkinson’s.

“Our world-leading scientific research to find a cure for Parkinson’s will benefit too. It’s only through the generosity of people like Fergus that we can provide vital services and the charity really appreciates his efforts.”

To support Fergus and make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fergus-smith4pukrcsgnr2017