Nurse to wing walk to raise charity cash

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A 55-year-old mum of two is to take to the skies for a head spinning fundraiser.

Liz Butterworth, originally from Stornoway but now living in Forres, is preparing for a gravity defying wing walk to raise funds for MND Scotland.

The fearless fundraiser will be strapped to the top wing of a vintage biplane and swept through the skies of Yorkshire at speeds of up to 135mph.

Liz, who is mum to Sarah (29) and Jacqueline (21), insists she is far from an adrenaline seeker, despite having abseiled down the Forth Road Bridge for charity in 2015 and canoeing for the first time in aid of a good cause in 2016 – 20.5 miles down Loch Ness.

In what has become an annual tradition for the big-hearted islander she selects a different charitable cause each year with MND Scotland, the only Scottish charity providing support and care to people affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND) across the country, 2017’s choice.

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe unaided.

Liz said: “I decided to support MND Scotland this year because Motor Neurone Disease is such a debilitating illness, with a very poor prognosis. Being a nurse I know about the disease and the fact there is no cure. I have also known two people to lose their battle with it in recent years.

“Not long ago I saw an article in our local papers about Lucy Lintott – a 22 year old woman with this devastating illness. She’s done so much to raise money and awareness and I decided I wanted to do something too. She has definitely helped inspire me.

“I decided I was going to do the wing walk last summer and when I started looking into it I realised I needed to lose some weight to meet the requirements for taking part. So I joined Slimming World and five months later I have lost two stone and have almost hit my target for June!

“I think there’s a little bit of madness in me – at least my kids and husband think so anyway. I wouldn’t say I was an adrenaline seeker. I just thought; life passes you by so quickly and I might as well do it while I still can.

“My fundraising target is £1,000 and people can donate through my JustGiving page. Anything I raise above that will be a bonus. I’m also going to be asking local businesses for their support and maybe organise a bag pack in the supermarket.”

Liz will head down to Selby in Yorkshire for her wing walk on 25th June, during MND Awareness Week 2017.

“I am really excited about the wing walk. My husband will be coming down to Yorkshire to support me. He said he’d be the handbag holder as usual!

Iain McWhirter, Head of Fundraising and Volunteering at MND Scotland, said “I think what Liz is doing is absolutely fantastic! It’ll be an experience of a lifetime and we are so grateful she will be raising funds for MND Scotland.

“All the money raised from Liz’s wing walk will go towards helping MND Scotland support people affected by MND across Scotland, and fund research into finding a cure.”