Edinburgh dad with MND completes epic 265-mile Cairngorms cycle charity challenge

An Edinburgh dad with diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) has completed his biggest challenge yet – cycling 265 miles over five of Scotland’s highest roads in the Cairngorms to raise money for charity.

Davy Zyw, 34, was diagnosed with MND in 2018. In the time since, he has dedicated himself to raising money and awareness for MND causes including the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which is dedicated to funding research into finding effective treatment and a cure for MND.

Davy, from Duddingston, has raised more than £150,000 for the Foundation, with more than £50,000 already pledged to the High Five challenge.

MND kills a third of people within a year, and more than half within two years of their diagnosis.

Davy Zyw with his brothers Tommy and Sorely, Wife Yvie & son mates and team mates Craig Paul, Ryan Brennan and Malcom Holwill. Picture by Stewart Attwood

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Speaking after completing the epic ride, he said: “We are battered but not broken, after close to 20 hours in the saddle cycling 265 miles across the toughest terrain Scotland had to offer.

“The High 5 takes in the highest road climbs, over 19000 feet - this physical challenge pushed us to the edge of our capabilities. The road was long, and many of the hours were dark, but it was the climbing which stretched us, the Lecht in 31C particularly taxing.

“But wow, we were sustained and fuelled by our dedication to this cause and the incredible support we have received.

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“The High Five is complete but my battle against MND continues, fortified by the steadfast support of so many who blieve, like me, that this disease isn’t incurable, but underfunded.”

Davy Zyw’s team included twin brother Tommy Zyw; brother Sorley Richardson; and friends Craig Paul, Dan Elswood, Malcolm Holwill, George Besant, Chris Asquith, Murray Buchan and Ryan Brennan.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation is a UK charity on a mission to end Motor Neuron Disease.

It was set up in 2017 following the MND diagnosis of founder Doddie Weir, who earned 61 caps for Scotland, toured with the Lions in South Africa and won championships with both Melrose and Newcastle Falcons.

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In a video made this week, Weir described Davy’s efforts as “truly amazing” and urged people to support Davy however they can.

In July, Weir received an honorary degree from Abertay University in recognition of his "tireless advocacy" to improve the lives of those living with motor neuron disease MND.

The 52-year-old father-of-three was accompanied to the ceremony at Dundee's Caird Hall by his wife, Kathy.

During an emotional speech, Weir said he "never thought for a minute" he would be celebrating his silver wedding anniversary the following week.

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He said: “I'm totally flabbergasted why I'm still here. A couple of years ago I celebrated my 50th which was quite a big steppingstone.

“I think the reason is when people are told they have MND, basically they are told they have one or two years to live, and you follow that because that's the norm. So for me to be six years in is quite unbelievable."

He then addressed students at the ceremony, saying: "Six years later, still fighting, still pushing for that cure, and still winning with every new day.

“If things don't go your way, don't give up. Instead, use your tremendous energy and brains, try again.

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“There's always a way round, another way to achieve your goals – find it.”

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