A dedicated son has devised a special challenge to raise awareness, after his dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Joe Crellin took on a huge challenge to climb seven Munros (mountains over 3000ft/915m) in Scotland per day for seven days – and eventually hit 50 in total.

The part-time gardener and carer for his dad David, has gone on to raise £11,700 for charity with the challenge.

He said: “I love mountain running, and the planning and training for this was a good way for me and my family to stay focused on something positive. I spent a lot of time going over OS Maps creating the routes, choosing the most manageable ridges and clusters of Munros across the Scottish Highlands.

“The seven days involved running, power hiking on the steep up hills and technical parts where it wasn’t possible to run. In total 126.5 miles, with 45,111ft of ascent, in a moving time of 33hours and 37 minutes.”

The 29-year-old from Allendale, was inspired by a BBC documentary entitled Rob Burrow: My Year With MND.

He said: “In the documentary I saw his former teammate, Kevin Sinfield, was doing his challenge, running a marathon a day for seven days (Rob played in the number seven shirt for Leeds Rhinos). I knew I had to do something similar, as I am a keen fell runner.”

This documentary was very important and played a significant timing in Joe’s life.

He said: “After my dad’s diagnosis, I took a test to see if I carried the same gene mutation. I knew my dad’s mum died of it when she was in her 40s. I had a 50% chance of carrying the mutation. In December last year, the results showed that I carry this, meaning I have an 80% risk of having MND at some point in my life.”

During the challenge itself, Joe was not alone. His parents showed their support by being there in person and preparing evening meals.

He said: “My parents came along to provide vehicle assistance. Having them there also helped with motivation and it was great to have Mum cooking evening meals for me.

“Dad is just about still able to get in and out of the van and to move around using his rollator with someone by his side making sure he doesn’t fall. It was definitely a challenge for parents as well, but we’re glad we did it together.”

When the challenge was about to be over, Joe was glad that he had his parents, especially his dad, to see him through till the end. He said: “On the final day, I planned my last Munro to be The Cairnwell, at Glenshee ski centre, as this mountain has a landrover track to the summit, which we thought Dad could get up on his three-wheel ATV Mobility Tramper.

"However the ground was way too rough and steep for his Tramper, so the ski centre head of staff drove them up in a new Kawasaki off-road buggy, which was super exciting for dad.”

Joe is now reflecting on the challenge and how important it was, not only for his family but other MND sufferers.

He said: “It’s a really important issue for me. I did the challenge to raise money for research into MND. My dad is one of the few (10%) MND patients who knows something about why they have MND - most patients don’t know of a genetic (or any other) reason for their condition. Finding out the cause of this disease on an individual basis is how we will beat it.”

Joe’s dad, David Crellin also added: “We used to think cancer was just cancer, but now we know of many different types with different causes and treatments. In a way, our understanding of MND is developing similarly.

"It’s not just one disease, more like a syndrome with various genetic and environmental causes, with different treatments needed for different types.”

The substantial money raised in the challenge will be split between MND Association and the My Name’s Doddie Foundation. Joe believes that his brother Ben, was the help he needed to raise the money.

Joe says: “My brother has a big following on Twitter (Fantasy Football statistics/analysis), so funds got a boost when he promoted the challenge. I had a funny moment on day four of my challenge, bumping into a Scotsman on the Kintail ridge who turned out to be one of Ben’s Twitter followers.”

“I would like to say a huge thanks to all who made this totally worth it! There’s still time to donate. Search Joe Crellin on Virginmoneygiving.