A Scottish student has delayed his 21st birthday celebrations in order to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK by walking the entire length of the Outer Hebrides on his own.
Curtis Large, who studies European Politics in Dundee, has chosen to swap a birthday bash for the breath-taking backdrop of the Western Isles by starting an 173-mile trek today for a cause close to his heart.
Giving himself a fortnight to complete the walk, the final year student said yesterday his birthday was the best opportunity he could think of to raise awareness of dementia, which affects more than 850,000 people in the UK, including one of his relatives.
He said: “Dementia is a cruel condition that my lovely nan, Brenda, has battled for many years and continues to live alongside. If putting myself through some pain can help eradicate it then it will be worth it.”
Mr Large intends to walk and wild camp completely unaided whatever the weather. His fundraising efforts so far have attracted strong support online, raising triple the amount of his initial £200 goal with three weeks of fundraising still left to go.
He added: “Two hundred pounds was a genuine goal that I thought I might just get but I’ve been blown away by the support.
“I am incredibly grateful for every donation and knowing people are backing my trip will help me every step of the way from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis.”
Kyle Lockhart, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s fundraising officer for Scotland, said he was delighted by the youngster’s commitment and initiative.
He added: “We are so grateful to Curtis for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – it has been estimated that one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition.
“Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to make life-changing research breakthroughs for people with dementia in the future.”
Anybody interested in donating to Mr Large’s campaign can show their support at https://www.facebook.com/donate/724533481344950/