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Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Epic problem for MND bike owner who has defied the percentages

Davy'S Twin Brother Tommy Zyw Helping Him Zip Up His Cycling ShirtStewart Attwood

When he was recognized with motor neurone illness (MND) on the age of 30, Davy Zyw didn’t assume he would nonetheless be alive 4 years later.

But subsequent week the 34-year-old will try to finish a 260-mile steady cycle alongside a few of Scotland’s highest roads.

“This challenge is difficult for a fit person let alone someone who has MND,” he advised BBC Scotland.

“I’m scared. It’s a step into the unknown and I’m not sure how my body will react.

“I’m taking up lots, however I’m excited.”

Davy, from Edinburgh, said the route – which has been dubbed the High Five – would be a real test of endurance.

“This problem has by no means been achieved earlier than and I feel solely now am I coming to phrases with the gravity of it,” he mentioned.

Davy Snowboarding In Canada

Davy Zyw

“My well being is deteriorating, however I’m nonetheless biking.

“I don’t know how many more chances I’ll have to do something like this again.”

Davy had first observed that one thing was unsuitable when his thumb stopped working whereas on a snowboarding vacation in Canada.

He was advised it was in all probability carpal tunnel syndrome, however after additional checks again home within the UK he was recognized with MND.

Davy had been working as a wine knowledgeable in London, so moved again to Edinburgh to be along with his household.

He saved his situation secret for the primary two years.

Davy His Wife, Yvie, And His Son Alek

Davy Zyw

“I wanted to live my best life rather than shouting it from the rooftops,” he mentioned.

“By telling people, I would have to relive the diagnosis.

“But after two years I got here out and now I’m turning this right into a constructive by deciding to do that cycle.”

Davy said he was lucky to be in a position to take on the challenge.

“When I used to be first recognized I did not assume I’d be alive in 4 years,” he mentioned.

“The statistics present MND kills a 3rd of individuals inside a yr, and greater than half inside two years of their prognosis.

“I’m not dead yet, so every day is a good day. I want to make the most of every second I have.

“I’m getting worse so there’s an urgency to do that now. Today is my greatest day, so I can not wait.”

Davy Zyw

Krystian Krzewinski

The father-of-one now has very little movement in his hands and little strength in his arms.

“My left hand, left arm, shoulders, and now my proper arm are starting to fail me,” he mentioned.

With his fingers now unable to operate regular gears, Davy will use an adapted bike with electric gears on the challenge.

He said the condition was like being under water, having less dexterity and less strength.

“This is the cruellest illness you may consider. It rewires your mind and modifications your character. Your muscle mass waste and also you lose bodily capabilities.

“MND is incurable, degenerative and paralysing. It strips you of your nerve cells, which means your muscles waste away and can never be built up again.

“But I’m nonetheless vigorous.”


What is MND?

MND is a serious and complex condition affecting the brain and nerves.

Statistically, one in every 300 people will contract MND in their lifetime. It involves the progressive loss of bodily functions such as mobility, communication, swallowing and breathing, and eventually leads to death.

Life expectancy from diagnosis on average is around three years, but some can live for 10, and in very rare cases even longer – it depends on where in the body the disease appears.

While there are more than 400 people living with MND in Scotland, this is not because the disease is rare, it is because life expectancy after diagnosis is so short.


The High Five challenge will start on 11 August at Killin on Loch Tay and finish on the top of the Bealach na Ba, near Applecross in Wester Ross.

The route takes in the five highest passes in Scotland, at Ben Lawyers, Glenshee, Tomintoul, Cairngorm Mountain, and the Bealach na Ba and has more than 19,000ft of climbing.

Davy will be joined on the challenge by his twin brother Tommy Zyw, their 29-year-old brother Sorley Richardson, and a group of five friends.

“I’m so glad I’m doing this with my brothers and mates. There have been some darkish occasions in recent times, and there will likely be some darkish occasions on the bike, however they at all times carry me up with laughter,” he mentioned.

Davy And Tommy

Davy Zyw

Davy, who still works as a wine expert and author, said he needed to train for up to 10 hours at a time for the challenge.

He mentioned his spouse Yvie had been “massively supportive and understanding” of the preparation which was required.

Davy is raising money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which was set up by former rugby player Doddie Weir after he was diagnosed with MND in 2017.

The basis’s CEO, Jill Douglas, mentioned: “Davy is an inspiration – I’m undecided individuals fairly recognize how unbelievable this problem could be for anybody.

“Like Doddie, he is giving so much of his precious time to create hope and help raise funds that we hope will one day end MND.”

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