A Scone veteran is battling against the odds to canoe across Scotland, raising money for the charity which looked after his late wife.
Alasdair Mac an Iasgair was paralysed from the waist down and lost the sight in his right eye and hearing in his right ear during the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.
Originally from Dunfermline, the former soldier who now lives in Scone, lost his wife Catriona last February to polycistic ovarian syndrome at just 38 years old and wanted to raise money for Macmillan cancer support.
Limited by his physical condition, Alasdair had two options for a sporting mission – hand-cycling or canoeing.
The 56-year-old is set to paddle his way from Falkirk to Glasgow along Scotland’s network of canals on June 27.
Currently training at the Willowgate Activity Centre in Perth, Alasdair is taking on the challenge with the centre’s Errin McKay and Jim Findlay.
Alasdair said: “I started to take canoe lessons at the centre with the view to keep myself as active as possible.
“Most wheelchair sports would do more damage to my spine.
“I got talking about my situation including the loss of my wife. I spoke about wanting to do a fundraiser for the people who looked after her but I had no real idea how.
“Catriona’s condition meant that when they spotted the symptoms, it was too late to treat. She took me on knowing my condition and it was me who was always meant to die first.”
The rigorous training was a helpful distraction to Alasdair during tough times, including the first anniversary of his wife’s death and her birthday.
He has even chosen to canoe against the wind, to make it more of a challenge.
“I’m in the canoe with Errin and we’re going from Falkirk as far as Firhill Stadium in Glasgow,” he said.
“Usually, people canoe the other way as the wind blows west to east, so it will be more of a challenge and should take most of the day.
“I want to do much more. Macmillan and NHS Tayside were both fantastic with Catriona and this is only the beginning. I’d really like to hit £1,000 this time.
“The Willowgate have been fantastic with me too. They’re a charity helping me raise money for a different charity, and I can’t put a price on the support they’ve given me.”
You can sponsor Alasdair by donating at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alasdair-mac-an-iasgair