Deeside woman’s West Highland Way fundraiser in memory of her dad

Leanne on Conic Hill in Loch Lomond on her first day
Leanne on Conic Hill in Loch Lomond on her first day

A Deeside woman has completed a fundraising trek in memory of her father, who died from motor neurone disease.

Leanne Barclay-Brennan walked the West Highland Way and has brought in more than £4500 for MND research and to raise awareness of the condition.

Leanne in the Devil's Staircase in Glencoe on the final day

Leanne in the Devil's Staircase in Glencoe on the final day

The money will go to the Euan MacDonald Centre in Edinburgh which seeks to improve the lives of patients with MND.

Leanne’s father, Sandy Barclay, from Ballater, passed away in 2008 aged 60.

Leanne, 47, who lived in the village for around 15 years, walked the 100-mile trail over five days, although she had to delay the final day due to poor weather.

She and her father regularly went hiking and had planned to walk the route together but due to his health, never managed it.

Leanne, now living in Arrochar on the West Coast, said: “It was an amazing experience - a true adventure.

“Everything went to plan and luckily I had no issues other than the weather.”

Conditions were at times atrocious due to heavy rain and the third day proved testing.

She recalled: “This was the section I was most looking forward to and I could hardly see a thing for the cloud, so it was a bit disappointing.

“It was very challenging mentally and where I had my first ‘wobble’. I was doubting myself and had to keep dad in my thoughts. I dug deep and knew I had to continue.”

Husband Andy monitored her progress along the way with their camper van being used as a base.

She said: “His support before, during and after my challenge was amazing. He really helped to motivate me when I was beginning to doubt myself,

“I also want to thank my family and friends for their support and a huge thank you to every single person who made donations for the research centre and helped spread the word on MND and the work being done at the centre.”

Her mum Lindsay still lives in Ballater and Sandy, who was a keen golfer, was secretary of Ballater Golf Club.

He was a committed fund-raiser and once walked the West Highland Way.

After being diagnosed with MND at 54, he set up a local golf event, helping to raise thousands of pounds for MND and heightening awareness.

As his health deteriorated, Sandy was introduced to the Euan MacDonald Centre and took a great interest in its work.