A Fife man is showing his gratitude for the charity which supported his late mother in her struggle with motor neurone disease by raising money to help other families.
Gennaro Barbato, 27, a health and fitness instructor with Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, set out to raise funds for MND Scotland following the death of his mum Cheryl, 54, from Kirkcaldy.
He smashed his original target of £1,600 in 24 hours and is now confident he will hit his revised goal of £10,000 before he pedals off on a marathon cycle ride this summer.
He said it would be a fitting way to remember his mum and ensure her death was not in vain.
A busy and active person, Cheryl was married to Franco Barbato and had two children, Genaro and Daniella.
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She loved spending time with her family and was a doting grandmother to Daniella’s children, Amelia and Alexander.
Cheryl was diagnosed with MND last August and died in December.
However, Gennaro was determined that others should have a chance to take advantage of the research and support offered by MND Scotland.
He said: “My mother had benefited from MND Scotland following her diagnosis, and we as a family, have had tremendous support from the organisation.
“I decided to take on a fundraising challenge by signing up for a London to Paris cycle this July and was hoping to raise £1,600.
“But within 24 hours I had achieved my target thanks to so many generous supporters.
“With months to go before the cycle challenge, I decided to increase my target to £10,000 and organised a fundraising night in the Gunners Club in Kirkcaldy and raised over £5,000.
“So far I have raised over £9,000 and am confident I can reach my target so that others affected by this devastating disease can get the support they need.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me – I know my mum would have been so grateful for everyone’s generosity.”
The trust will be holding a fundraising taster fitness class event at Michael Woods Leisure Centre, Glenrothes, on Saturday May 25 from 1pm with all proceeds going to Gennaro’s total for MND Scotland.
Iain McWhirter, head of fund-raising at MND Scotland, said: “We wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it wasn’t for people like Genaro raising awareness and funds.”
Gennaro’s JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gennaro-barbato.