Mum-of-three Gillian McNab, who has incurable Huntington’s disease, has ticked off the most daring challenge on her bucket list so far.
After conquering every rollercoaster in the UK, braving firewalks and skydiving from 10,000 feet, the 51-year-old hospice nurse from Lanark has taken to the skies again.
She travelled to in Yorkshire to do a wing walk which involved standing on the wing of an airborne 1940's Boeing Stearman Biplane while its pilot carried out high octane flypasts and manoeuvres including a QUADRUPLE loop the loop.
“The weather wasn’t good and we didn’t know whether or not the wingwalk would go ahead. I had travelled all the way to Yorkshire with my daughters and when it was cancelled the organisers managed to squeeze us in for the next day. The uncertainty just fuelled my enthusiasm even more and I was desperate for it to go ahead.
“While we were waiting for the plane to arrive, my daughters showed me the fundraising total going up and up! This inspired me to ask if I could possibly do two loops, one for Scottish Huntington’s Association and one for Strathcarron Hospice, so I could surprise my amazing supporters and give them more for their money as a thank you,” said Gillian.
“My wonderful pilot Martyn took things a step further by suggesting we double it up again to four loops and add in a couple of barrel rolls. He also said I could do a more adventurous rollercoaster-style first wingwalk. I gulped then said yes - I wanted to make the most of the experience.
“I felt so alive up there and I loved every second. I had a poignant moment amongst the clouds when I thought about everyone I was doing it for. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I’ve been totally blown away by the support I’ve had. I hoped to raise £2000 but so far we’ve raised more than £7,300!
“Thank you to every single person who donated, including those who gave anonymously. Their amazing kindness will go a long way to support Scottish Huntington’s Association and Strathcarron Hospice, where I have worked for the past nine years.”
Gillian dedicated her high-flying fundraiser to her late mother Myra, who passed away in 2001. Myra died from an underlying heart condition, however two years before she had also been diagnosed as being in advanced stages of Huntington’s disease. Until that diagnosis, Gillian knew nothing about the disease or that there was a chance she could have it too.
When Gillian’s test came back positive for Huntington’s, she made a decision then and there to live life to the full. For as long as she remains symptom free, the busy working mum is making her way through a bucket list of adventures while helping other families as a volunteer fundraiser and speaker for Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).
The money raised from her wingwalk is being shared between Scottish Huntington’s Association and Strathcarron Hospice, where Gillian has worked for the past nine years.