Inca Trail team member Clair McAdam tells us about her family’s fundraising journey, and how it feels to have reached their target with 4 months still to go!
Our fundraising for MND Scotland began back in 2010; my mum was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease so my sister Shona and I decided to run the Great Scottish Run 10km with a couple of friends. Shortly afterwards we heard about MND Scotland’s Machu Picchu adventure. We swithered over it for a while – not sure if we should, or could, commit ourselves to raising so much money, not to mention the actual challenge! We’d never raised such a huge amount of money before, and definitely never done anything quite like the challenge of trekking the Inca Trail!
We decided to give it a bash and set about raising the required £3,800 each – a total of £7,400! Our first fundraising event was to enter the Great Scottish Run again last year. Only this time we aimed a little higher and completed the half marathon. Next, a comment I happened to read on MND Scotland’s facebook page lead to me abseiling down the forth rail bridge in October 2011.
It was around this time (maybe around £1000 into our fundraising) that we realised that in order to raise such a lot of money we couldn’t solely rely on sponsorship for events to reach our total. Not only would this see our friends and family hugely out of pocket, but we’d need to keep putting ourselves through ridiculous challenges! We decided to start hosting fundraising events – a much scarier task than sponsored events, given the organisation involved in such events along with our distinct lack of organisational skills!
Sadly, around this time we lost our mum, 18months after diagnosis. Though heartbreaking for our whole family, it gave us motivation to raise as much money for MND Scotland as we could. Shona and I also spoke to our dad, Bill, and asked him to come along to Peru with us. It didn’t take dad long to agree so we changed our team name from The McAdam Sisters to The McAdam Clan and our target shot up from £7,600 to £11,400. Suddenly it seemed even more impossible and out of reach, but even more of an adventure for our family!
One of the most important things in our fundraising journey was definitely the amazing support from friends and family. As well as personal donations so many folk have gone out of their way to help us in other ways. So many friends and family were directly involved in organising our events, as well as helping out and giving us support of the day. We’ve had Frock Swaps, coffee mornings, bring and buy sales, bag packing, a bring-and-buy sale, selling homemade notelets and “Helen’s Trees for Xmas” when a couple of close family friends set up a business selling Christmas trees. We have also had friends and family asking for donations on our behalf instead of presents at parties and special events.
Friends and family have also been fantastic in taking part in fundraising challeneges; a friend of mine abseiled the Forth rail bridge with me, friends of my mum organised and took part in a sponsored cycle and several of my friends are taking part in the “Take The Plunge” day.
We’ve managed to host fundraising events in Dundee, Edinburgh, Peebles, Biggar, Lanark and Shotts, and all because our friends and family have helped us to cast our fundraising net further afield than we could have imagined or ever managed on our own.
So, almost a year since Shona and I committed ourselves to this challenge, and around 6 months since our dad joined we are so happy to be able to say we have reached our target of £11,400!!! We still have donations coming in and a couple of events in the pipeline! We still have several people taking part in the “Take the Plunge” day and have an acoustic music event called “Music Against MND” taking place in Edinburgh at the end of June.
We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the support of our family and friends and are certain that without them we would definitely not be going to Peru, and more importantly we wouldn’t be able to make such a difference to the lives of people with MND.
I think it’s fair to say it’s been hard work at times, but most definitely worth it for the feeling of knowing we’ve achieved a goal that seemed so out of reach only a year ago. Now we’ve hit our target, Machu Picchu has become instantly more real so our next step is to get fit and prepare ourselves for such a big family adventure!
The McAdam Clan’s JustGiving page can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/Clair-and-Shona-McAdam