Alisdair Anderson

Dublin To Nerja

Fundraising for Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
In memory of Ruth Staines
We provide care and support services to improve quality of life


My partner, Ruth Staines, passed away on April 3rd 2021, after a short but defiant battle with Motor Neuron Disease. In her memory, I'm cycling 2,750km from Dublin to Nerja, Spain to raise vital funds for the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association. 

When Ruth was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease roughly a year ago, in May 2020, nobody could have foreseen how fast the disease would affect Ruth's independence. MND/ALS is a neurological disease that impacts the nerves which enable movement of muscles. It presents challenges to completing some of life's most simple tasks that you might do every day with your hands, feet, legs etc. For Ruth, it began to affect her legs first, but as it progressed it prevented her from being able to even send a private text message or play her beloved Candy Crush, simple things we all take for granted.

The Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association provides care and support to people with MND, their families, friends and carers. Without them, we would have been lost. The support they provided to Ruth throughout her illness allowed her to live a much more comfortable life. From mobility and wheelchairs, nursing, homecare support, counselling - these were all critical services we depended on. They also provided Ruth with Eye Gaze technology, which allowed Ruth to send messages, flick through Tick Tok and of course play Candy Crush - all without the use of her hands. I can't thank them enough for the speed in which they moved, as time sadly was never on Ruthies side. All of these services cost money, however, and I'm aiming to do my bit to support these services by raising vital funds for IMNDA. 

My aim is to cycle from Dublin, Ireland all the way to Nerja, Spain. This will be a 2,750km journey, and I'll be doing it solo (unless anyone wants to join along the way!). I'll explain a little below as to why this journey will be a special one. 

Ruthie loved to travel and lived in many places from England, Italy, Portugal and even Los Angeles. I remember Ruth telling me a story about when she gate crashed Michael Jacksons funeral, while pretending to be a journalist from Ireland. She really did live life to the full. But when Ruth moved to Nerja, Spain there was something about the place that made her settle. Nerja is a beautiful white washed town on the Andalusian coast and this is where I first met Ruth. I worked in a local bar and Ruth quickly became a regular. I remember I offered to walk her home maybe the first night we met. I must have seemed dodgy because I later found out she lived on the next street! I must have gained her trust though, and within a couple of months we were living together. We both had a passion for dogs and through a local charity we started fostering abandoned puppies. Ruthie always looked fondly on her time in Nerja and it really was a special place for her. She made so many close friends, her second home you could say and even when she moved back to Dublin she always kept up to date with all the gossip. I think Ruth would approve starting the journey in Dublin, her ancestral home, and finishing in Nerja - her home in the sun.

The 2,750km journey will start in Oxmantown Road on the Friday 14th May, where Ruth has lived since her return to Dublin. I'll head straight down to Baltinglass for the first leg spend the day with Ruths family before setting off for Europe. On Sunday morning, I will travel to Wexford, with Mark (Ruths brother) and Kev (Ruths close friend) kindly accompanying me for this part of the journey. Then it's the ferry to Wales, cycle down through southern England, followed by another ferry across to northern France. I'll travel down past Bordeaux and through (or over!) the Pyrenees. Then I'll head straight for the Spanish East coast, where hopefully the fresh sea air will keep me cool! Eventually, the aim is to end up in Nerja on the southeast coast of Spain around mid July...fingers crossed!

I'm asking that you all dig deep in your pockets to donate for this amazing cause. All donations go straight to the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association. I'll keep updating the page and you'll even be able to track me live so I can't cheat.

Thanks :) 

Alisdair Anderson

PS - you can follow Ali and his journey on Instagram and Facebook!

About the charity

The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) is the only organisation of its kind in the country providing specialised services to families affected by this terminal condition. The Association cannot slow the progression of MND or change the outcome but we can alleviate the feelings of isolation and frustration. We offer consistent support to approximately 400 families across Ireland who otherwise would have nowhere else to turn. Everybody with MND has different needs at different stages of their journey and we are here to help and guide them every step of the way. The services provided by the IMNDA are immediate and free of charge for everyone registered with the Association. Key services include: • Access to 4 outreach nurses directly employed by the IMNDA and funded entirely by donations. • Access to a home care grant. • Access to specialised equipment on loan (e.g. wheelchairs, hoists, communication aids etc). • Access to funding towards counselling sessions for the person with MND and family members. Your support is absolutely vital. More than 86% of our income comes from fundraising and donations.

Donation summary

Total raised
Online donations
Offline donations

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.