AN INSPIRATIONAL dad from Neilston has completed an epic two-year-long running challenge as a tribute to 12 of his wife’s relatives struck down by motor neurone disease.

Greg Lee spent more than 141 hours running across six of Scotland’s toughest trails to raise more than £18,000 towards vital research into finding a cure for the cruel condition.

Over a period of just 30 years, his wife’s gran Mary McKee lost her father, two brothers, uncle, nephew and various cousins to MND.

In total, 12 members of her family have been diagnosed with conditions categorised under the umbrella of the muscle-wasting disease that gradually robs sufferers of their speech, mobility and independence.

Greg, 36, has covered around 500 miles during his charity mission and was supported by his wife Jessica, 31, and two-year-old son Murray.

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Greg said: “It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done but I was determined to finish.

“I’ve completed ultra-marathons in the past, but this was a real test of my stamina and endurance. I set myself the aim of completing each run within a 24-hour period and thankfully I managed to do that.

“I was basically running across very treacherous terrain and elevations of 13ft or more and had to keep pushing ahead whenever I felt exhausted. I had a wonderful support team with me. My father-in-law was great and really encouraged me to keep going when things were tough. I could never have got through it without all of the fantastic help.”

Project manager Greg completed the Arran Coastal Trail, Speyside Way, Ayrshire Coastal Path, West Highland Way, Skye Trail and finished with a 75-mile cycle around Cumbrae.

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Greg was forced to rest for eight weeks after injuring himself at the 62-mile mark on the West Highland Way.

He explained: “I didn’t realise the toll the running was having on my body. Months of doing marathons back-to-back meant that by the time I reached the 62-mile mark, I was forced to stop. I was absolutely gutted because I’d come so far, but my legs couldn’t move any further.

“It was a case of resting for a while and giving myself a chance to recover. As soon as I was ready, I was straight back to it.”

Greg says thinking of what Mary’s family members had gone through was key to keeping him focused at his lowest ebbs.

He said: “If I felt tired or achy, I would think of all the kind people who donated, and I really didn’t want to let anyone down. Knowing all the money raised was going to such a good cause helped drive me on.

“It took two years to complete the 500 miles but I’m incredibly proud that I got there. Over £18,000 was raised for MND Scotland, which is a fantastic cause that goes above and beyond to help those affected by the illness.

“My wife’s family has been impacted so many times by MND. What has happened to them is incredibly rare, but it certainly spurred me on to get over the finishing line."

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MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles and eats away at sufferers' ability to walk, talk, drink and eventually breathe unaided.

Iain McWhirter, head of fundraising at MND Scotland, said Greg's was an 'epic' challenge.

He added: “I’d like to thank him so much.

“As a charity, we rely on fundraisers to fuel our vital support services and to power MND research and clinical trials to take us a step closer to a cure.

“Mary McKee has been one of our major supporters for over 30 years and her contribution to MND Scotland as a charity has seen a massive positive impact on the lives of people living with motor neurone disease across Scotland.

“It’s fantastic that her grandson-in-law has been inspired by her charitable spirit to continue the family tradition of support for the charity."

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