The Cure Parkinson’s Trust has announced Tim Daber from Northamptonshire as the winner of the 2018 Fundraiser of the Year award, which recognises an individual who has achieved the most to raise funds or awareness for Parkinson’s.
Tim has spent many months fundraising tirelessly for the charity, which culminated in a 64-mile walk over four days.
Tim was diagnosed with Parkinson’s just over two years ago, as he approached his 60th birthday.
Having been told it was an incurable condition, Tim resolved to do something to help change that.
His incredible year of fundraising began with a launch party in February, which set the bar high by raising over £15,000.
Over the coming months Tim planned and executed a series of events including a wine-tasting evening, tennis club quiz night and the Oundle Classic Bike Rally.
Then came the ultimate challenge: the task of walking 64 miles round the North Norfolk coastline in just four days.
Beginning in Sea Palling, Tim and his team followed the scenic route round to Hunstanton.
Touched by the support he received, Tim said: “I will long remember lacing my walking boots up in the car park early in the morning on August 18 and walking round to the starting point on the slipway to be greeted by 15 or so walkers and half a dozen supporters. That was when realisation really dawned that they were all there to support me.
“There was a great deal of warmth and mutual support throughout with more experienced distance walkers giving words of encouragement to less experienced colleagues when they were having to dig deep.”
The team also encountered much generosity from people along the coast path.
They were kindly invited into a café at West Runton and provided with hot drinks and given a cash donation to the cause.
Tim was also joined by two famous names; the TV presenter Gordon Burns and his wife joined the group for a section of the walk as did best selling author BA Paris.
“Of course, the longest lasting memory is likely to be the finishing tape at Hunstanton Tennis Week where quite a crowd had gathered and applauded us home as I lead the team in,” said Tim. CPT had been generously named as their charitable cause for the year.
Tim’s incredible amount exceeding £76,000 will be directed towards CPT’s Linked Clinical Trials Programme, an initiative which has already seen encouraging results in prioritizing pre-existing drugs for research into their ability to treat Parkinson’s.
As a final touch to Tim’s outstanding year, a special reception was hosted by the historic venue Congham Hall near King’s Lynn, to celebrate Tim’s achievements and to thank all those who supported him on this journey.
“I feel some amount of pride in raising a substantial sum but at the same time I am humbled by the faith that all my supporters had in me. I cannot stress highly enough that this was a real team effort from start to finish. Certainly I was the catalyst but the result could never have been achieved without the support of friends, family, associates and those we met along the way.
“I may have ended the walk but the strength of purpose this endeavour has given me, to do something about my condition, will undoubtedly lead to a new beginning - my family are already talking about the next project with me!”
The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is thrilled to recognize Tim’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s through this award.
Will Cook, CEO of CPT, said: “Tim is too modest about his achievements here: his planning, execution and leadership were superb throughout, and he has raised a huge sum for the search for a cure.
“He built up awareness in a series of events beforehand, then identified a supportive and engaged group of personal contacts willing to sponsor him.
“But of course he is right that it was truly a team effort, and our thanks go to his entire back up team, including his wife and daughter and all those who walked with him. We at CPT thank Tim and the team for their excellent achievement.”