Scott of the Arctic: Newton Mearns man to take on a sub-zero trek for MS charity

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A Newton Mearns man with multiple sclerosis (MS) is set to take on the challenge of a lifetime as he takes part in an Arctic trek for charity.

Scott McPhillimy (30) will travel to Finland with a team of fundraisers for a three-day hike through frozen Arctic tundra to raise money for MS Society Scotland.

Diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2015, Scott will travel nearly 66km in temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius.

He said: “Since being diagnosed with MS four years ago my motto has always been to ‘Challenge MS’ and I can’t think of any bigger challenge than the Arctic trek.

“I want to take advantage of this period of stable health that I am going through. Something I have learned from living with MS is that this can change at the drop of a hat.

“Although I may look fit and healthy, there are areas of weakness in my body caused by MS. My priority is to try to strengthen this as much as possible between now and the trek.”

MS Society Scotland’s Arctic Trek will take place in January 2020 giving Scott and his fellow participants plenty of time to prepare for the unforgettable challenge and generate sponsorship.

Trekkers will spend three days walking in the Arctic Circle pulling pulks (small toboggans) laden with gear after training in Scotland later this year.

Scott is focused on ensuring that he is in the best shape he can be for trek next January and training has already begun.

He continued: “The biggest challenge for me will be the distance. I still have difficulty walking long distances so all my effort will be making sure that I am strong enough to complete the journey.

“I go to the gym at least three times a week, and I have also been doing a spin class every week to build up endurance in my legs.”

While all the trekkers will have to endure plummeting temperatures at night, Scott is looking forward to the opportunity to see one of nature’s most spectacular sights.

He added: “Before I was diagnosed with MS I climbed Ben Nevis and it was pretty cold at the top. I can’t remember the exact temperature, but it wasn’t warm!

“I’m not particularly looking forward to camping out in minus 30 degree temperature, but it will be worth it to see the Northern Lights!”

Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland, said: “This is an incredible challenge to be taking on and we wish Scott and all the rest of the team the very best of luck in their preparations. Our supporters never fail to amaze me with their dedication and in completing these amazing feats.”

To find out more about Scott’s training and to sponsor him visit www.facebook.com/arctictrek2020