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Grandad who did wingwalk for Claire House is already planning next daredevil fundraiser

3 weeks ago

Grandad who did wingwalk for Claire House is already planning next daredevil fundraiser
Alan Mckie - Wingwalk Claire House Fundraiser

A grandad who did a wingwalk for Claire House at the age of 82 is already planning his next daredevil fundraiser.

The father-of-one from Helsby in Cheshire has climbed Kilimanjaro twice and conquered Everest base camp at the age of 80, and he adds: “When you have done a wingwalk and proved you’re not scared, you can then go on to do it again where the plane does acrobatics like a loop-de-loop. So it might be that.

Alan McKie, who was strapped to the wing of a plane and flown through the air at 135mph to raise money for the Wirral hospice, says:

“It’s a must. I’m just trying to decide what to do, but I will have to find something else.” 

“It must be something in my make up. I don’t get frightened in life, I never have, and I still have the energy and enthusiasm to do these things.

“Although if you asked my wife, she’d just say I’m a fool!”

There is a very good reason though for Alan’s adventurous exploits for Claire House.

The climb up Everest and the wingwalk for the Merseyside children’s hospice were both in memory of his great niece, Izzy McEgan, who died from renal cell carcinoma – a form of kidney cancer – a week before her 20th birthday.

“I really wanted something unique and challenging for Claire House. It was to raise money for the hospice as they provided such vital care for Izzy and her family.”

So far the wingwalk has raised more than £7,000.

Izzy, from St Helens, was working at Camp America in Summer 2019 when she was diagnosed with cancer. 

She flew home to begin treatment, despite being told the condition was too advanced to be curable. 

Alan Mckie (Left) Claire House Fundraiser

Alan, a former personnel manager for Marconi who now runs his own business, Alan McKie Associates, offering free management consultancy, says:

“Claire House was involved in her care from the very beginning, providing 24-hour advice and support, counselling for Izzy and her parents, complementary therapies, hydrotherapy, and even organising a backstage tour to meet the cast of her favourite show, Les Miserables.

“It was due to the care and dedication of the Claire House care team Izzy passed away peacefully at home in her own bed, surrounded by people who loved her.”

Having already been involved with fundraisers previously – one of the Kilimanjaro climbs was with Wendy and Colin Parry for the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre in Warrington – he decided to say thank you the best way he knew how.

The hike up Everest he conducted with his grandson Matt Galley:

“We had promised Izzy we would do it, and when you have made a promise you must do it; there’s no going back.”

And he did the wingwalk solo at the end of May.

He laughs: “It was cancelled four times because of the weather and I managed it at the fifth attempt.

“One time was because it was too cold and the organiser said it’s minus 10 Alan ‘you won’t enjoy it’.  But I told her it was minus 10 on Everest – and I won’t enjoy it anyway, but I’m doing it.”

And Alan, who in the past organised Duke of Edinburgh Awards schemes and a youth club in West Derby where he’s originally from, says: “It was good. The views from up there were tremendous.”

With no signs of stopping, Alan is planning his next adventure and says not even his advancing age will make him call a halt.

“Age is just a number and I just reverse the numbers – in my head I’m 28.

“As I see it, when you’ve had a good life, you should give something back. I’ve had a great time.

“I wanted to fundraise so other families can receive the care that our family did from Claire House and doing the Everest climb and, now, the wingwalk seemed like the least I could do.”

Find out more about Claire House here.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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