A PRESTWICK lad is going to trek along the coastline his Nana adored to mark five years after she lost her battle with dementia.

Darren Weir, 21, will walk the equivalent of a marathon for Sheena Ronald. who died after a seven year battle with the disease and Parkinson’s, aged 82.

The keen bowler. who plays for Scotland under-25, says it was devastating to watch dementia effect his Nana who was like an extra parent to him.

He told the Advertiser: “I am going to walk a marathon on Friday, July 3. I wanted to do something this year, to set myself a challenge. I thought it would be fitting to mark the anniversary.

“My Nana was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia in 2008. As things got worse for her, she was looked after in Berelands, so she could be closer to her family.

“Parkinson’s weakened her to the point she was bed bound. The staff were amazing, and she received excellent care.

“But it was very hard to see her physically drain away.

“I have so many good memories of her. One of the toughest things about the dementia was she didn’t know who I was. She kept calling me Adam towards the end, who is my cousin.”

Darren has been using up his spare time during lockdown to practice walks, and has mapped out a route.

He will start in Prestwick before heading along the coast to Ayr, before heading out to Troon via his Prestwick and through Monkton to finish back off in his hometown.

The route will take him along the sandy beaches, where he has share fond memories of spending time with his Nana.

He said: “My gran was from Paisley and she loved coming down here. She was widowed in 1988, so she was always down at weekends. We were very close. She was like an extra parent.

“The beaches I will be passing have some good memories. She used to take me and my brother down there. So it will be a fitting tribute to her as well.”

Darren has set up an online fundraiser, which he hopes will help raise awareness of the disease with the funds going to charity Dementia UK.

He added: “It’s a cause that is really close to my heart. So far I’ve had an amazing response with family all helping. It would be great to see how much we can raise.”


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