Elizabeth Birrell from Cellardyke in Fife has begin a 1,000 miles cycle in aid of PSPA after developing a love for cycling during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Elizabeth, who is 73 years old, chose to do the cycle to raise awareness of PSP because her husband passed away from the condition six years ago.
Since her husband’s death, Elizabeth has been a keen fundraiser for PSPA, regularly taking part in her Local Rotary’s Coastal Walks and raising approximately £70,000 for the small charity over the past six years.
Elizabeth aims to complete her 1,000 miles of cycling by the end of June, cycling around 30 miles a day, when weather permits.
Elizabeth said about her challenge “PSP is so little known. When my husband started to fall backwards and slur his speech they didn’t know what it was and told him to come back in a few weeks if the symptoms persisted. However, after family members struggled to understand what my husband was saying on the phone, they rang an ambulance. This led to a two-week stay in hospital for various tests and investigations, after which the specialist said it could be some type of Parkinsonism. Six weeks later and we received the diagnosis of PSP.
“To help raise funds for PSPA and awareness of PSP, I’ve taken part in ten sponsored coastal walks organised by my local Rotary. Unfortunately, the walk in 2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic, which is why, after I had grown an interest during the lockdown, I thought a cycling challenge would be a great idea. I hope by doing the challenge and talking about it, I can help spread the word about PSP so more people are aware of how to spot the signs and symptoms.
Sarah Day, PSPA Challenge Events Fundraiser, said: “Elizabeth’s passion for raising funds and awareness continue to inspire not just myself, but those in her local area and the wider PSP & CBD community. We are honoured by her ongoing support.”
You can keep up to date with Elizabeth’s progress and sponsor her cycle at: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/ianbirrell2021