A KIRKCALDY man is taking on the mountains of Peru to raise awareness of, and money to fight the degenerative disorder he was diagnosed with eight years ago.
Ken Fenton, (65), used to be a self-confessed fitness addict, and has run his own food company for 15 years – ‘Wild Tastes’.
He admitted he was devastated when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told. I’m nuts on sport,” he said.
“I was fly-fishing one day and didn’t feel my fingers touching the line.
“So I went to the GP and she did a test on me. She put a bit of paper between my fingers and I couldn’t stop her pulling them out.
“She then said she thought I had Parkinson’s. I was shocked.
“I used to go to the Cairngorms every weekend to ski them when there was snow, and run up them when there wasn’t. That was a few years ago now right enough.”
Ken will head to South America early next month to spend four days walking at an altitude of up to 14,000 feet. Among the group of 22 people taking on the trek for Parkinson’s UK, Ken is the only one with the condition.
So why is Ken heading to the mountains of Peru?
“Because it’s there!” He joked.
“No, I have been a physical person all my days, skiing all over the world and other stuff. But that got knocked on the head getting Parkinson’s.
“This trip came through the Parkinson’s UK people and I thought ‘why not?’ It will be a good challenge.
“Parkinson’s is a horrible thing and I don’t think people know enough about it, so I’m doing this to raise awareness and money for research.
“There has been massive strides towards raising awareness of the condition recently though.
“When I was diagnosed about eight years ago I didn’t know enough about it.
“It’s all to with chemicals in the brain, it can happen to anyone and people need to know more.”
Ken revealed that he has been going to the gym to get ready for the trip, adding that his Wild Tastes company (which employs five staff) keeps him active too.
To donate towards his fund-raising efforts, go to - uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KenFenton