Looking up at the peaks of Bennachie hill range in the north east of Scotland can be a daunting prospect for the average rambler. For Keith Turnbull it might as well have been Mount Everest! Brother Turnbull, a member of the Bridge of Don Ward in the Aberdeen Stake, cherished an ambition of reaching the top of Oxen Craig, the highest peak in the Bennachie hills, and marvelling at the stunning vista of the north east countryside spreading far around. As a sufferer of motor neurone disease, a debilitating condition which seriously affects the ability to control body movement, it seemed unlikely that he would realise his dream. But that was before he turned to his friend Alistair Grubb, who enlisted the help of ward and stake members.
Keith’s ambition was to raise £5,000 for Motor Neurone Disease, Scotland, a charity which helps sufferers of the disease. With a limited ability to walk, Keith and his support group turned to Nick Rankin, a prosthetics engineer and member of the Bridge of Don Ward, who designed a wheelchair that could be pushed, pulled and carried to the top of Oxen Craig. With the chair ready to make the ascent, offers of help soon came in, and a team of almost thirty members, consisting of full time missionaries, youth, sisters, elders and high priests, volunteered to do the pushing, pulling and carrying, inspired by Keith’s own determination and desire to help others.
As they reached the summit of Oxen Craig, Keith expressed his feelings about his experience saying he felt ‘ecstatic’, adding that he was so appreciative of everybody’s hard work to get him to the top. A retired industrial engineer, Keith served until recently as a High Priest Group Leader; a longstanding member of over 30 years, he and his wife Desiree are committed to the gospel and the service of others. A video of Keith’s inspiring journey and those who helped him get there has been posted on You Tube.