A SCHOOLGIRL from Gourock is taking on her first big charity challenge to remember her dad who died of Motor Neurone Disease.

Abbi Noone will join her mum Erica for a daring walk on burning coals and broken glass in memory of her late dad Mark, who passed away at the age of just 36.

The family were left devastated when the dad-of-two lost his battle with MND in November 2010.

At the time Abbi was just seven and her brother Clark, now 10, was a week away from his third birthday.

Mark, originally from Greenock, was a police constable for eight years before he died and prior to that was a car mechanic.

He first noticed something was wrong when he had a strange feeling in his arm and his leg.

Mark went to his GP and after many tests, scans and a lumbar puncture, he was diagnosed with MND six months later.

Erica, a classroom assistant in St Stephen’s High in Port Glasgow, said: “The diagnosis was a huge shock and was difficult to deal with as I was not only thinking of myself, but our two children and of course what Mark was facing.

"We tried to remain optimistic and spent as much time as possible together as a family.

"Mark was a sun-worshipper so we tried to go on a few holidays and this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family - especially my mum, dad, sister Kerry and brother-in-law, Neil.

"MND Scotland offered us the use of their caravan near St Andrews, so we went there for some time-out and made wonderful memories together as a family."

Erica says that Mark's illness caused big challenges on a daily basis.

She said: “I found that over time communication became very difficult and the technology then was not as good as it is now.

"We had to use a special plastic board with the letters of the alphabet on it and sometimes it could take thirty minutes to say one or two sentences.

“Things became increasingly difficult as time went on and Mark was able to do less and less for himself.

"I continued to work part-time and when I was at work my dad used to come up to my house and be with Mark, to keep him safe and keep him company.

"Having two young children at the time made things really difficult and to be honest when I look back I don’t really know how I managed.

"Mark went downhill fairly quickly and passed away just less than two years after being diagnosed.”

Since his death, Erica and her loved ones have raised a remarkable £25,000 for MND Scotland and she was named a Tele Community Champion in honour of her exploits.

Now she'll be joined by Abbi tomorrow to walk across 20ft of coals hot enough to melt aluminum, followed by 20ft of razor-sharp shards of broken glass from a thousand broken wine bottles.

The event will take place at Hampden and all money raised will go towards MND Scotland.

Erica said: “I started fundraising for MND Scotland when Mark was first diagnosed and I've done a number of different events including a trek to Machu Picchu, a 10k, Triathlon, bake sale, zip slide, 5k, fancy dress disco, 3k and climbed Ben Nevis.

“But this will be Abbi's first BIG fundraiser for MND Scotland.

"I can't begin to imagine what it felt like losing your dad at the age of seven.

"She wants to do something to help and I think she is being very brave to tackle such a massive challenge at 14 years of age.

"We’re both pretty nervous but we want to do what we can to help find a cure for the disease that took Mark from us.

"Every penny helps, so if you can, please donate online at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ericaabbifireandglass”

Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s head of fundraising, said “I’d like to thank Erica and Abbi for taking on such a brave challenge for MND Scotland, especially Abbi at the age of just 14. The money they have raised will to go towards helping MND Scotland provide financial, practical and emotional support for people affected by MND across Scotland, and fund vital research towards a cure."