Young Edinburgh author diagnosed with MND to cycle North Coast 500 cycle in aid of Doddie Weir charity

An Edinburgh author diagnosed with motor neurone disease is preparing to push his body to the limit in a 500 mile cycle around Scotland to raise awareness for the “wicked” disease that has “stolen” the best years of his life.

Davy Zyw and his pals - including his twin brother Tommy - are tackling the North Coast 500 to raise cash for MND research.
Davy Zyw and his pals - including his twin brother Tommy - are tackling the North Coast 500 to raise cash for MND research.

Davy Zyw from Duddingston was only 30 years old when he received the “life-shattering diagnosis” which changed his entire life.

Two year on the newlywed, who also works as a wine buyer, admits he is feeling the symptoms more and more – but is refusing to let it stop him.

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The passionate cyclist and snowboarder is determined to live the active lifestyle he loves for as long as possible – and now he is looking to help find a cure.

Davy, who has penned two non-fiction books about wine and champagne, is already suffering the effects.

He said: “Apart from the emotional weight, my symptoms are a shake and wasting of muscles, chiefly in my left hand and arm, and overall lack of energy and progressive loss of function in my hand.

“My left hand is now so weak I can’t squeeze a tube of toothpaste. I can now feel the same thing happening on my right side.”

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Despite this he plans to cycle the North Coast 500, accompanied by his twin brother Tommy Zyw, and friends Craig Paul, Dan Elswood, Malcolm Holwill, Tom Platt and Ryan Brennan. And they plan to do the mammoth trip in only four days, battling horizontal rain and high winds over the route.

Fundraising

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The team is fundraising for My Name’5 Doddie, a charity started by Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir who was diagnosed just before Davy with the condition.

Davy said: “His charity is doing amazing work, promoting awareness, funding research for a cure with the MND Association and MND Scotland; including the new MND-smart drug trails which have just started.

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“His charity is helping people like me, and their families to live their best lives.”

While slightly apprehensive of the huge task before him, Davy says that he will not let MND stop him continuing his normal active lifestyle while he still can.

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He said: “I reckon I have a couple of years of living ‘normally’ before I need daily help and care.

“So while I still have power in my legs and enough grip on my hands to hold on to my handlebars I want to help drive awareness of this life-shattering disease and do my bit to help find a cure.”

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Davy said while it’s been a “difficult journey” getting to where he is now, he believes a positive frame of mind is helping him through.

He said: “It’s unlucky getting MND at any age, let alone when you are 30. But my youth helps me and I know that keeping fit and staying in a positive frame of mind saves me from the worst of it.”

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“I’m doing everything to slow the symptoms of my disease. I swear good wine, fresh air and activity are saving me.”

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