Beinn Burroughs, from Banff, who tested positive for the gene that causes Huntington’s disease when he was 18 and studying at university, is set to take on a unique and gruelling challenge in support of other families impacted by the devastating condition.
Having graduated earlier this year, Beinn (21) is now living and working in Ayrshire.
He is also training hard for the toughest triple challenge that has ever been attempted for Scottish Huntington’s Association after signing up to do the London Marathon, the Stafford Half Ironman and the Bolton Ironman challenges within a few weeks of one another.
“Three years ago I discovered I have the faulty gene,” said Beinn.
“It wasn’t a huge shock as I always knew there was a risk because my dad has Huntington’s disease. It also helped that I was well supported by the Scottish Huntington’s Association Youth Service from when I was 10 years old.
“Even so, it was difficult to talk about and during my first year at university I just cracked on with life and kept myself to myself. In fact until couple of months ago only five people outside my family knew.
“But now the time feels right to start speaking about how Huntington’s affects me and my family. A couple of people have since told me that people close to them are also impacted by the disease.”
Beinn’s test result sparked a huge change in his approach to life, fuelled by a determination to pack in as much as he can for as long as he can.
“At age 18 I suddenly became much more aware of my own mortality. The Confucius quote ‘we all have two lives, the second begins when we realise we only have one’ really spoke to me. Three years ago my second life and a new story began when I ran my first marathon to raise money for Scottish Huntington’s Association,” he said.
“Since then I’ve done other marathons and Ironman challenges but I always wanted to go bigger and better in support of other Huntington’s families.
“I’ve decided to do just that by signing up for the 2023 London Marathon, the Stafford Half Ironman and Bolton Ironman,” said Beinn.
At the London Marathon in April, Beinn will face 26.2 mile run. For the Half Iron Marathon in June he will swim for 1.2 miles, cycle for 56 miles and finish off with a 13.1 mile run. And finally, the Bolton Ironman a few weeks later – a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and a full 26.2 mile marathon.
His efforts are inspiring people around him and friends, work colleagues and family have already donated more than £2700 through Beinn’s Justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/beinn-burroughsxsha1 and you can follow his progress at https://bit.ly/BeinnYouTube
“I’m training hard because it’s going to be extremely tough but I’m up for the challenge because Scottish Huntington’s Association is so important to families impacted by Huntington’s disease,” he said.