Daniel’s trio of challenges for Leuchie

Former Gullane resident, Daniel Lafferty has signed up for three major challenges to show his support for Leuchie House.

Daniel, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006 when he was 15, has committed to the challenges as a way of saying thank you to the charity for the support they’ve given him.

“I don’t know where I’d have been without the help I got from Leuchie,” he recalls. “I was in S5 at North Berwick High School when I was diagnosed. It was as if all the symptoms came on overnight and I ended up in a wheelchair very quickly.

“My step-dad, who worked at the Fire Training College in Gullane at the time, was involved with Leuchie, doing health and safety and fire risk assessments. When Leuchie’s CEO Mairi O’Keefe heard I had MS she stepped in to make sure I was getting the support I needed. She arranged for me to have physiotherapy and psychotherapy at Leuchie, and helped me to be considered for a radical new drug, Tysabri.”

Daniel became the first person in Scotland to be prescribed the new drug which has helped minimise his MS symptoms and return to an active life. Since his treatment started he has completed a university degree and now works in Glasgow as an Architectural Technologist. While he was a student he worked part-time in the Co-op in Gullane, so is well known in the village.

“I wanted to do something for Leuchie because they helped me so much. I want to give something back now. It’s also a way to prove to myself that I can do it, so it’s a mental challenge as well.”

Daniel’s three challenges are the Great Edinburgh Run on 17 April, the Edinburgh Half Marathon on 29 May, and a hike up Ben Nevis in the summer.

His partner, Kevin, will do all three with him and the pair have embarked on an intensive training regime, which involves training runs five days a week and a weekly running boot camp.

“It has been five years since I last saw Daniel,” says Mairi O’Keefe, “so it was very emotional to see him again looking so well and happy after the very difficult time he has had dealing with his MS. We are so honoured that he has chosen to fundraise for Leuchie, which will enable us to help other people who are living with a long term condition.”

Anyone wishing to support Daniel and Kevin can donate at www.justgiving.com/half4leuchie.