On the crest of a wave

PUBLISHED: 12:23 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

Russell McMillan (right) with the crew who accompanied him on his sailing adventure

Russell McMillan (right) with the crew who accompanied him on his sailing adventure

A MAN is on a new voyage of discovery after being struck by Parkinson s disease in his early 40s. So far this year Russell McMillan has run the London Marathon and has recently finished sailing around the Isle of Wight to raise money for the Parkinson s D

A MAN is on a new voyage of discovery after being struck by Parkinson's disease in his early 40s.

So far this year Russell McMillan has run the London Marathon and has recently finished sailing around the Isle of Wight to raise money for the Parkinson's Disease Society.

Now Mr McMillan, 44, has his sights set on a trek along the Great Wall of China to raise further funds.

Having been forced to retire as a film technician, Mr McMillan now dedicates much of his time at his home in Hitchin Road, Shefford, to his charity work.

Speaking about his sailing adventure Mr McMillan, who is married with three sons, said: "The voyage, if you can call it that, was great fun and I enjoyed every minute.

"I am not a sailing man but I would do anything to raise money for the society.

I had the honour of taking the helm when our yacht crossed the finishing line. I was more nervous afterwards when I had to make a speech in front of 300 people."

The Sail the Island Adventure raised almost £50,000 for the society and the voyage was a few days after Mr McMillan had completed the Flora London Marathon in just over six hours.

Before the race the furthest he had run was one mile and all his training had been done on a bike.

Would he do it again or is sailing his new passion?

"The marathon took a lot out of me but if I was pushed I would run it again and sail around the Isle of Wight. Both were for a good cause and I am now doing as much as I can for the society and the next big event is a nine-day trek along the Great Wall of China, which I would love to do," said Mr McMillan.

"But to reach my dream of doing the trek I will have to raise sponsorship of £2,800 so I am starting now to try and raise money."

Mr McMillan is hoping for more support from friends at his local pub The Woolpack who backed his marathon run and his short voyage.

"They are a great bunch and I enjoy socialising there a couple of times a week," added Mr McMillan.

"But I never let my illness get me down. I always look on the positive side of life now and with the support of my family I hope to put a lot of my energy into raising money for the society with China hopefully being the next destination."

If you would like to sponsor Mr McMillan contact The Comet newsdesk on 01438 866200.

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