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Press release

Journey of Empowerment Through a 186-Mile Hike for MND Awareness

It was supposed to be a time of joyous celebration for lovebirds Chris Maclean and his then wife-to-be Nicola. But the besotted couple were forced to juggle their wedding preparations with the ill health of Chris’ mum Alison and her harrowing deterioration.

Months earlier, Alison had been diagnosed with Progressive bulbar palsy, one of the most aggressive and devastating motor neurone diseases.  Active and adventurous, suddenly Alison found the most basic yet vital bodily functions virtually impossible.

“It’s one of those really horrible diseases you can’t really plan through,” Coventry-born Chris says.  "It slowly eats away to the point you can’t really communicate and can barely move.

“All the way to the point she passed, it felt like there was nothing I could really do.  It felt like I had no power to help her suffering.  It was all a big shock for me and my family, including my wife who grew very attached to my mum. 

“She could barely drink towards the end. It really affected everybody within that six months.

“Unfortunately, my mum was very ill on our big day, which was really sad. She was in a wheelchair at this point and had a stoma bag fitted just weeks before so wasn’t able to eat or dance. Despite this she was determined to come to our wedding with a smile on her face.”

Alison was only 59 when she died in August 2016, just two months after Chris and Nicola were married.

Now, eight years on, Chris is taking back the power he felt he lost during his mum’s final months by embarking on a mammoth 186-mile hike around the Pembrokeshire Coast to raise awareness of, and money for, MND Association.

CMAC WalkA project manager at Crown Workforce Management - whose staff are also supporting the fundraising drive - Chris and Nicola plan to complete the epic navigation in just 14 days.

Because of work commitments, the couple, who moved from Coventry to Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, in 2021, are tackling the gruelling trek on non-consecutive weekends, including some back-to-back walks.

Having started in Amroth, they are working their way to St Dogmaels in North Pembrokeshire. The walks get progressively harder the further north they go.

They completed a further 18 miles on Saturday, March 9, in what was their third hike thus far, to take their tally to around 45 miles and counting.

“My mum loved walking, and coastal walks in particular,” Chris added. “She always wanted to move somewhere by the sea, that was her dream.

“So, to do something like this is a nice, hand in hand while thinking about my mum pretty much the entire time.

“It’s for a good cause as well. The Association was always there for support, telling us what to expect and how we could manage it mentally as a family.

“That level of support was really useful, especially towards the latter part of when my mum was alive.

“The statistics say two in 100,000 people are affected by MND in the UK, but I personally know quite a lot of people who have suffered with it or have friends or family living with the condition."

“It’s something I want to raise more awareness of and hopefully we can hit the fundraising target we set ourselves.”


Chris and Nicola, both 35,MND_Assoc_Logo have raised £870, but would dearly like to reach their target of £1,500 as they head further into the challenge in the coming weeks.

To donate, visit their fundraising page 
Nicola and Chris' fundraiser for Motor Neurone Disease Association


Press release:
Coventry Telegraph Coventry man embarks gruelling coast,
Coventry Observer Coventry man braving 186 mile charity trek in memory of his mother,
Wales on Sunday Pairs trek tribute for mom Alison.


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