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Muir of Ord man whose dream retirement was shattered by a devastating diagnosis is teeing up a fundraiser to help research

By Hector MacKenzie

Cormac Miller and Muir of Ord Golf Club captain Hamish Milne tee up the event.
Cormac Miller and Muir of Ord Golf Club captain Hamish Milne tee up the event.

A man whose dream retirement was shattered by a devastating diagnosis is helping a golf club tee up a boost for the charity driving efforts to make a breakthrough on the incurable condition.

Cormac Miller (63) and his wife Christine were looking forward to "living the life we had dreamed off" when he retired in September 2014 after 40 years working as a financial consultant.

Finding that he was becoming more forgetful and struggling to cope with changes, he went to the doctor but was told everything was fine.

When he returned two years later, still convinced something wasn't right, he was referred to a consultant who ordered scans and then referred him to a neurologist.

She confirmed he had Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) with Parkinson's. There's currently no cure for LBD, a progressive form of dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function. Symptoms range from tremors and hallucinations to difficulty in swallowing and depression.

Mr Miller, who says he is driven by his faith and hope, has used golf as a way of keeping body and mind active and is a regular on the fairways at Muir of Ord.

Muir of Ord Golf Club is this month staging a three-day open charity competition with the aim of raising thousands for much-needed research into the condition. Mr Miller has already succeeded in having all 18 holes sponsored to the tune of £300 each.

Mr Miller said that at the time of his retiral in September 2014, "we were going to live the life we had dreamed off", living six months of the year at a holiday home in Florida and the rest back home in Scotland.

The dream turned into a nightmare. he said: "When we went to see the doctor he was straight-talking. There is no cure, life expectancy is four to six years and deterioration would be reasonably quick. There would be increased hallucinations, my thinking would be irrational and my memory would diminish in a few years."

Forced to give up his driving license and moving to Muir of Ord to be closer to his daughter, Kara, Mr Miller retains a positive outlook and is keen to help others. He said: "When selling the car the salesman was an evangelist and he said this was a test of my faith. I have both faith and hope; this drives me daily to manage what I can."

Appealing to others to consider backing the research fundraising drive, he said it would be his family and those close to him "that will have the largest loss, pain and suffering as time goes by". He said research "could help someone close to you in the future".

Muir of Ord Golf Club Captain Hamish Milne said: "I have nothing but admiration for the positive attitude displayed by Cormac. Weather permitting he is on the course most days of the week and will always bring a smile to the face of others. Despite his condition, it is humbling to hear of the fundraising efforts being made by Cormac and his daughter Kara and am I sure the golfing community in the area will turn up to support this very worthy cause."

Mr Milne said: "Prize money will be dependent on entry numbers but is already proving to be one of the best financially supported golfing events of the year!"

The club is staging seniors, mens and ladies open charity competitons from March 15-17. Some spaces are still available. Contact the club for more information.

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