King’s Lynn brothers take on three peaks challenge in memory of their father, former Linnet assistant manager Ellis Gay
- Credit: Submitted by Jane Lewis of Motor Neurone Disease Association
Two brothers will reach for the skies in memory of their father who died of motor neurone disease one month after being diagnosed.
Mark Gay, 39, and Dan Gay, 34, will be taking on the three peaks challenge on June 24 after raising over £5,000 for charities The Norfolk Hospice and Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).
Their father, former King's Lynn FC assistant manager Ellis Gay, first showed signs of the disease in September last year when he started losing his voice. In December, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the debilitating disease which affected his heart and lungs. He died only a month later on January 14.
Mark Gay said the unexpected diagnosis hit the family hard especially as they have never experienced a serious illness in the family before.
He added: 'The doctors said things weren't very good and he only had weeks to live, it was a massive shock. We all spent Christmas together and his condition got worse, we couldn't believe it. It happened so quickly we couldn't take it all in. We realised afterwards what we went through as a family, so much changed.'
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Mark, director of A1 Timber Engineering in King's Lynn, said the most valuable support they received was from the Norfolk Hospice and MNDA, which still checked up on the family following their father's death.
Dan Gay, a teacher at KES Academy and former goalkeeper for King's Lynn FC, said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of donations, adding: 'I think it is just a testament to my dad of what a lovely fellow he was. He touched a lot of people's hearts in the area.'
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They hoped the money raised could provide support to other families going through the same hardships and to fund research into the incurable disease.
'During the month dad was ill the hospice were fantastic, with their out of hours care they were phenomenal.
'Mum was married to him for 45 years and to lose somebody who has always been there and lose them the way we did it was so hard to see, but the support we were given has been fantastic.' Mark Gay added.
The brothers will climb the tallest mountains in England (Scafell Pike), Wales (Snowdon) and Scotland (Ben Nevis) within 24 hours with their uncle Karl Gay, cousin Josh Gay and family friends.
To donate, visit their fundraising page.