Jenny takes on ‘Mighty Stride’ Aberdeen Kiltwalk in memory of dad

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On Sunday 2 June, Jenny Junnier, 47, from Peterculter is taking on the ultimate Aberdeen Kiltwalk challenge – walking 17.8 miles from Duthie Park to Bellfield Park, Banchory.

Taking part as a member of the Johnston Carmichael team, who are Gold Sponsors of the Kiltwalk, Jenny is walking in memory of her dad, Bill Gamlin, who lived with muscular dystrophy.

Motivated by the desire to increase awareness of muscular dystrophy and fundraise for research to improve understanding of the conditions, Jenny is fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for more than 110,000 people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions. She says that her dad is the inspiration behind her challenge.

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“Dad was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in his mid-teens, but it wasn’t until he was much older, and due to developments in research, that he discovered it wasn’t SMA but another muscle wasting condition,” said Jenny.

Jenny Junnier with sister Anna WatsonJenny Junnier with sister Anna Watson
Jenny Junnier with sister Anna Watson

Jenny’s dad, Bill Gamlin, lived a full life without any help or support for several years after his initial diagnosis. “He accepted it and lived life to the full,” said Jenny. “An accident in his twenties left him in a wheelchair permanently and he was never able to stand or walk after that. This all happened before I was born, so growing up I didn’t fully understand the muscle wasting element of his condition. I knew that his life expectancy was going to be limited, but I didn’t know much about muscular dystrophy.”

The family learnt more about Bill’s condition when Jenny’s sister was planning to start a family. It was then that they discovered he didn’t have SMA, but another type of genetic muscle wasting condition. “That was quite a shock for dad as since he was first diagnosed in his teens, part of his identity was connected to SMA, and he felt part of that community,” said Jenny. “After various tests and assessments, he and my mum were able to get the support they needed to ensure the best quality of life as he got older. This is where Muscular Dystrophy UK as a charity is invaluable as not only do they fund groundbreaking research into different muscle wasting and weakening conditions, but they help families like ours to get the support they need, whether that’s financial, physical or emotional.”

By taking part in the Aberdeen Kiltwalk, Jenny hopes that people will become more aware of muscular dystrophy and how it can affect children and adults. “Dad’s condition was relatively mild – he lost strength in his arms from his early fifties and only started to really struggle with health issues from the age of 60. He died unexpectedly in 2008, aged 63, but this was not directly related to his condition. For others, the muscle weakening can be more progressive in a shorter period of time, impacting not only the ability to move and perform daily activities, but also the muscles that help your heart and lungs to function.

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“There are so many different types of muscle wasting conditions, which is why the work of Muscular Dystrophy UK is so important, so that we can learn more, develop effective treatments and ensure individuals and families get the help and support they need.”

Jenny with her dad, BillJenny with her dad, Bill
Jenny with her dad, Bill

Explaining the importance of fundraising like Jenny’s, Jodie Whitham, Regional Development Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “We’re so grateful to Jenny for choosing to support us while taking on this challenge – raising money and helping to increase awareness of muscle wasting conditions. Thanks to fundraising like this, we can continue to improve understanding of muscular dystrophy, provide advice and support to those who need it, and help accelerate new treatments. Thank you, and good luck for the Kiltwalk, Jenny. We’ll be there to cheer you on!”

There is still time to sign up for the Aberdeen Kiltwalk 2024, with two routes to choose from – the 17.8-mile ‘Mighty Stride’ or 3.9-mile ‘Wee Wander’. Register for free at and look out for the charity’s team on the day at the Drumoak pitstop.

Support Jenny’s fundraising at

Find out more about Muscular Dystrophy UK at

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