Gillian shortlisted for national unsung heroes award

SHA volunteer speaker and fundraiser Gillian McNab is in the running for a Scotland’s Champions award in recognition of her commitment and support for families with Huntington’s disease.

Gillian (51), who was nominated for the honour established by the Daily Record and Sunday Mail news titles, has now been shortlisted by the awards panel.

It comes after the busy mum’s latest fundraising challenge – being strapped to the wing of a plane while it carried out a series of sky high manoeuvres including a quadruple loop-the-loop and barrel rolls.

After raising nearly £7000, Gillian shared the donations between Scottish Huntington’s Association and Strathcarron Hospice where she works as a palliative care nurse.

Since being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, Gillian has been determined to make the most of every moment while she remains symptom free.

She is working her way through a ‘bucket list’ of adventures, which includes riding every rollercoaster in the UK, travelling to Australia, visiting the set of BBC drama Casualty, and braving a fundraising skydive.

In total, Gillian has raised £14,000 for SHA but perhaps her biggest achievement – and the one in which she takes most pride – has been to overcome a fear of public speaking so she can give talks about Huntington’s disease to community groups, professionals and practitioners.

Gillian will join fellow nominees at the Scotland’s Champions awards ceremony in Glasgow on Saturday, 18 September.

Scottish Huntington’s Association Chief Executive Alistair Haw said: “There’s just no stopping Gillian. She’s always thinking up new ways to raise funds and awareness about Huntington’s disease. Not even a COVID lockdown could slow her – Gillian inspired her neighbours to hold a socially distanced dance-a-thon in the street, climbed the equivalent of Ben Nevis up and down the stairs in her house, gave Zoom talks and then sold festive face masks at Christmas to raise money.

“She brings friends, families and strangers together in the most remarkable way to support the Huntington’s disease community, and works tirelessly to make the most of every spare moment she has for the cause.

“Gillian enjoys time with her family and friends, supports patients and their loved ones through her role at Strathcarron Hospice, and helps to make life better for people all over Scotland who live with the dreadful realities of having Huntington’s disease in the family. We can’t thank her enough for all she does for Scottish Huntington’s Association and the families we serve. She is an absolute inspiration.”

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