Sponsored walk to help West Lothian man with condition so rare even doctors were stumped

By Debbie Hall

Friends and family of a West Lothian man with a rare disease have raised thousands of pounds to make sure nobody else has to go through what he has.

Brian Girdwood was eventually diagnosed with amyloidosis but suffered from months of severe illness before doctors were finally able to diagnose him.

Little is known about the condition that has left him needing a stick to walk and having to give up his job.

To help raise funds for research into the disease and awareness a sponsored walk over the Forth Road Bridge was organised with players and coaches from Polbeth United Community Football Club.

The money they raised has been split Amyloidosis Awareness and the club, as Brian was a former coach there before he had to give up because of his condition.

They raised £6784, with £2000 going towards Polbeth United and £4784 to Amyloidosis Research.

His daughter Lauren said unfortunately her dad was not able to join them on the walk due to complications with his medication - driving home the need for more research into amyloidosis.

She said: “We had all of our football boys there, all of our immediate family and many of our friends came along for support too.

“The weather was beautiful, everyone was so upbeat and done an amazing job walking over and back, motivating each other and sharing amazing stories about my dad.

“Afterwards, we took the football boys back to our clubhouse for a little buffet and gave them all certificates and sweeties as a massive thank you from my dad.

“We want to say a massive well done and thank you to everyone who donated and who joined us on our sponsored walk.

“To all of our 2010 boys for being amazing and completing the whole walk, the over 35s for your hard work in your charity match, also Sky, Arnold Clark and everyone at CGI for your amazing donations.

“The biggest well done goes to dad for being brave enough to speak up about his illness and make us all aware of amyloidosis and how it affects us. On top of everything he’s going through, he wants to make a difference.

“Without his determination and strength, we would never of been able to do this. We are all so proud of you every single day.”

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