A former rugby star has vowed to keep ex teammate Doddie Weir’s fundraising legacy alive.
Rob Wainwright, who was rugby union captain for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions, founded Doddie Aid three years ago.
He also helps to protect his local community on the Isle of Coll by working as a volunteer firefighter.
Wainwright has promised to keep Doddie Weir’s legacy alive following the legend’s death from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in November.
To date, Doddie Aid has raised around £2m for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – with the foundation itself pouring around £8m into MND research in the last five years.
“He was an extremely warm character, wonderfully friendly, with the perfect blend of humour and compassion,” Wainwright said of Weir.
“He was just a really good people person, with a really attractive personality that people loved, and he was very giving of his time.
“There was a lot that happened behind the scenes. Doddie was introduced to people who had just been diagnosed with MND. He was able to give them guidance and he in turn got guidance from other people.
“We have come a long way, but the journey needs to be pushed on. Doddie was defined not by what he did in his glory days on the rugby field, but by how he coped with his ultimate challenge, how he attacked it and the momentum he created to find solutions for MND.
“There’s lots of people out there with MND. Many of them don’t have the platform that Doddie had, but he had that platform, and he used it. He had an amazing energy and determination to find a solution to this disease and to help others. He’ll keep pushing us on even though he isn’t here.
“We’ll keep funding research and hopefully there will be a breakthrough that will really make a difference for sufferers of MND. It’s what Doddie would have wanted.”
Wainwright is already putting more plans in place for Doddie Aid, with a mass participation event starting on January 1 for people to sign up and set their own challenge and fundraising goals.
Doddie Aid has organised a cycling event where hundreds of cyclists will leave from Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on February 9, heading to Murrayfield in Edinburgh.
The 555-mile cycle will be a continuous ride throughout 48 hours.
Jill Douglas, chief executive of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “We’re incredibly appreciative of all that the SFRS do, and to have them joining the Doddie Cup 555 ride is great.
“The ride is a gruelling challenge, but made easier knowing that each push of a pedal and mile covered takes us closer towards finding a cure to motor neurone disease.”
A memorial is set to take place on Monday at Melrose Parish Church, Scottish Borders, to honour Weir.
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