Around 50 people taking part in a fundraising event for Parkinson’s at Loughgall Country Park last Saturday were told to ‘walk with hope in their hearts’.
The walk was organised by Denise Adair, wife of former Portadown Times reporter Gordon Adair, who was diagnosed with the degenerative neurological condition in 2012.
Family and friends of the Co Armagh couple, along with a group from Mullaghbrack Church Choir, completed the walk, raising almost £3,000 for the charity.
Before the walk and barbecue, Gordon, who works as a reporter for the BBC, told the group that although research projects cost millions, “some day I believe they will find a cure”.
He added, “That last pound donated could be the one that finds the cure. Yes, it’s difficult but it’s not a lost cause and there is reason to be hopeful.”
Denise said, “When Gordon was first diagnosed, Parkinson’s UK were a great help to us, offering care and support when it was most needed. They also fund research work which offers real hope to the thousands of people like Gordon who are struggling with this awful disease.”
Among the gathering was Gordon’s sister Vanessa Montgomery, who was on her second sponsored walk of the day, having taken part in an event to end human trafficking in Belfast that morning, before heading to Loughgall with husband Colin and friend Frances.
Gordon’s young daughters did the 2km walk around the lake as did his friend Alan Matchett with his four-year-old twins Georgia and Daniel, while most of the adults tackled the 7km route.
Denise and Gordon have thanked Loughgall Country Park, Super Valu, Richhill and Groucho’s Pub for their support as well as all those who so generously sponsored them.
Said Gordon, “It was a great success and I am really delighted at the amount we raised.
“ I have been so touched and surprised by people’s kindness and generosity, and I want to thank Denise for organising it so well.”
Meanwhile, today (Friday), a golf day in aid of Parkinson’s UK will be held at Loughgall Country Park organised by greenkeeper Wayne Haffey. Up to 50 golfers of all abilities have signed up for the fourball competition, with one of the teams consisting of Gordon, his father-in-law Dennis Cargin, friend Alan Matchett and professional golfer Vivian Teague.
Said Gordon, “I have an embarrassingly high handicap, which I am not going to reveal!”