Fiona gets on her bike for charity – powering through isolation whilst living with Parkinson’s and melanoma

Fiona Middleton from Glasgow dusted off her exercise bike and set out on a virtual cycling challenge hoping to raise £150 for Parkinson’s UK, but she’s now raised over £7,000 – and she’s still going!

Fiona was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 12 years ago, at the age of 44 on the day before her birthday.

The former nurse is also currently undergoing immunotherapy treatment for melanoma, and the two conditions mean that physical activity can be very challenging. Her initial plan was to cycle the 37 mile distance from her home in Glasgow’s West End to Balloch Castle and back, but less than a week into her two week challenge, she had already reached Balloch so decided to keep going. She headed up Loch Lomond towards Inverbeg – where she and her husband got engaged 25 years ago - and over the Rest and Be Thankful to Inveraray.

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Having virtually visited a host of places around the Kintyre Peninsula and the Isle of Islay, Fiona’s final leg will be through Glencoe to Fort William, up to Mallaig and across to the Isle of Skye where her cycling adventure will culminate. Fiona is keeping her supporters abreast of progress by posting regular witty updates on her Justgiving page and will be tagging local landmark businesses on her social media updates.

Fiona said, “The cycle is really brilliant motivation for me to do the exercise I need to manage my health, and it has given me something to focus on when I was shielding at home and unable to go out or meet people face to face. When you’re living with Parkinson’s and melanoma, it is easy to sit and feel sorry for yourself, and forget that you still have a lot to offer. So this is really helping me to stay positive.

“Overall, I’m feeling fine. I’m really enjoying thinking about the beautiful places on my journey, and remembering holidays and other happy times there. I’m also in total awe of the support I’m receiving from my friends, family and supporters. Their comments and generous donations have been the most incredible boost. And Parkinson’s UK is a fantastic charity – they fund groundbreaking research and offer loads of help for people with Parkinson’s and their families.”

Jan Mattison, Regional Fundraiser for West Scotland said, “Fiona and her family have been long standing supporters of Parkinson’s UK, and we’re absolutely bowled over by what she’s achieving with this challenge. Fiona’s determination to make a difference and her brilliant sense of humour are propelling her forwards, and it’s even more inspiring to be doing all of this in lockdown.

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“These are difficult times for our community. Thanks to the amazing support of people like Fiona, we’re adapting by boosting our helpline capacity, providing tailored online exercise classes and making sure people who normally receive face-to-face support continue to do so in new ways.”

You can follow Fiona’s progress and support her at her JustGiving page

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