FOUR siblings are joining forces to finish what their parents started and bag each of Scotland’s Munros after their dad was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).

David Choat, often along with wife Judy, both 66, had scaled more than 250 of Scotland’s highest peaks before he was diagnosed with the condition in November 2017.

Now, his children Paul, Matt, Becky and Adam are getting ready to tick off the remaining 14 mountains, which total 14,417 metres.

Paul, who lives in Macmerry with wife Becca and nine-month-old daughter Skye, said: “As soon as it became apparent that dad would not be able to finish them off, it was something we came up with, despite not knowing how much they still had to do.

“We started tossing round the idea at Christmas time and we really proposed the idea then.

“By that point, I had spoken to my siblings and they were on board.

“We sat down with mum and dad and proposed the idea.

“Both were really keen on the whole thing.

“It was an idea for us to get mum up the hills as well.

“Without dad, she has been missing out on it a bit and, from dad’s point of view, to get to the end of the list would mean a fair amount, even if he cannot do it himself.”

From there came the idea of raising funds for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, formed by former Scotland rugby internationalist Doddie Weir, who himself has MND.

Paul, 34, described it as a “no brainer” to raise funds for the good cause, which aims to find a cure for the condition or improve treatment.

Fifteen Munros remained to be ticked off until the weekend before last, when Paul was joined by older brother Adam – who lives in Haddington with wife Samantha and sons Leon and Lochlan – in scaling the 1,117-metre An Stuc, near Killin.

Paul said: “It was not too bad. We were a bit sore the next day but not too bad.”

Matt, who lives in London, and Becky, of Livingston, were unable to climb the first Munro with them but have committed to tackling the remaining 14.

Seven more could be achieved by the end of next month, with A’ Chralaig (1,120m), Tom a Choinich (1,112m), Mullach Fraoch-choire (1,102m), Carn nan Gobhar (Glen Cannich) (993m), Ciste Dhubh (979m), Sgurr na Banachdich (965m) and Bla Bheinn (929m) all pencilled in.

That would just leave Creise (1,100m), Sgor na h-Ulaidh (994m), Beinn Fhionnlaidh (959m), Beinn Sgulaird (937m), Stob Coire an Laoigh (1,1116m), Meall a’ Bhuiridh (1,108m) and Sgurr Mor (1,003m) to be ticked off in 2021.

Paul said his dad, who lives with his wife in Aberdeen, had wanted to complete the 282 Munros after finding out he was closing in on the total.

He said: “My dad was unbelievably healthy and fit. They would be out walking and most of their holidays revolved around walking tours.

“Just generally, they were very active and very healthy so the diagnosis was a bit of a bolt out of the blue.

“It was devastating; my dad had retired the year before and my mum and dad had big plans for retirement, all of which have pretty much fallen through.”

Paul told the Courier his dad remained upbeat and “unbelievably positive” despite the MND diagnosis.

The condition affects the nerves that enable people to move, speak, breathe and swallow.

The family “cautiously” set a target of £2,000 but had smashed that before they even laced up their walking boots.

Paul added: “The fact we hit £7,500 before we set off was just incredible.

“The support we have had has been unbelievable; lots of donations from strangers. We have had donations from Canada, Australia and France – it has been amazing.”

To support the good cause, go to