Aberdeenshire team of cyclists fund new MND research project

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During MND Awareness Week last month MND Scotland announced it would be investing a further £583,000 into four new Motor Neurone Disease research projects.

One of these projects is being funded thanks to the fundraising efforts of Aberdeenshire based BP staff.

The ‘BP Coast to Coast Cyclists’ team was set up in 2009 when a group of BP staff decided to cycle 250 miles across Scotland to raise money for local charities.

MND Scotland has been chosen as one of the nominated charities from the first year because the group’s colleague and friend, Ian Bowen, had Motor Neurone Disease.

The team embarked on their ninth coast to coast challenge in May, this year supporting charities; MND Scotland, 77th Glasgow (Disabled) Scout Troop, Friends of Roxburghe House and CREW.

Over £1million has been raised during the nine years the event has been run for, with more than £300,000 going to MND Scotland.

Now some of this total is being used to fund a new research project at the University of Kent for the next three years.

Dr Gourlay will be leading the project which seeks to fully investigate the nature of metabolic dysfunction using ALS (a type of MND) model systems and to take these ideas into human ALS trials.

Jon Turnbull from Ellon is one of the founding members of the BP Coast to Coast Cyclists.

He said: “BP C2C cyclists are delighted to see the funds that they have raised supporting research into a cure for MND, our late friend Ian Bowen would have been absolutely thrilled to know this.”

Iain McWhirter, head of fundraising and volunteering at MND Scotland, said: “This money is going to make a real difference in taking us a step closer to a cure.”