A GRAN is going to zip-line across the Clyde in memory of her dad who died from Alzheimer’s.

Ray Houston ,67, is on a mission to raise funds for charity Alzheimer’s Scotland after she watched her dad lose his personality because of the illness.

Ayr Advertiser: Ray is doing the challenge in memory of her dad Jimmy Ray is doing the challenge in memory of her dad Jimmy

Her dad Jimmy Mcllwraith was a well-loved character in Troon, with a strong connection to Troon Juniors who also spent years coaching youngsters at Barassie Primary.

But 11 years ago, he lost his fight with Alzheimer’s which Ray says turned him into a different person.

Her dad Jim, died 89, after being diagnosed with the disease when he was 82, but Ray believes there were some warning signs there before it was confirmed he had Alzheimer’s.

Ray told the Advertiser: “He probably had it before he was 80, it takes a while for it to be diagnosed and recognised as Alzheimer’s, we just put things down to old age. There were maybe warning signs such as leaving his wallet on a bus.

“It takes away your personality. My dad was someone who was very opinionated.

He always had something to say, but he turned into a quiet mouse who just sat smiled in a care home in the last couple of years.

“It made it easier for the family because he wasn’t distressed, although we knew it was not my dad sitting there, it was really sad to see that. He was a really fit man even when he was older, but it drained him.”

After watching her dads brave fight Ray who has two sons and three grandchildren, wants to take on a challenge and make a difference.

She said: “I’ve always thought about raising money for Alzheimer’s.

“I have been around it a lot, my close friend of 30 years’ husband’s in a care home in Troon living with it just now.When I saw the challenge, I thought this could be my chance to do something.”

“It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or not, my dad never had any major health problems he just died from the effects of it.”

“There’s no treatment out there at all, we need more research for that. They haven’t found a cure, but they are working on it, looking for people to do trial. The charity also helps support carers who are looking after family members. It’s a great cause.”

Ray is also determined to find out if she has the gene for Alzheimer’s as her dad is not the only family member to have been diagnosed, with three of her aunts also dying from it.

She believes knowing could help her live life to the full, and the zip-line challenge is one which she is relishing.

Ray who has two brothers also in 60s, said: “None of us are afraid of it, I don’t worry about it, but I would like to get tested for the gene.

“It might change my attitude a little bit about doing things. The zip-line, could be first time I take on something, and then who knows.”

You can donate money to help Ray's challenge here.