An entrepreneur is planning to climb up Machu Picchu, in the Peruvian Andes in aid of Parkinson’s UK Cymru.

Founder of Sizzle Marketing, Sam Williams, from Pontypool, whose dad has the condition, is aiming to get to the iconic 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru in April.

The 27-year-old marketing consultant will arrive at what is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, which is located on a 2,430-metre mountain ridge, at the end of an epic four day trek.

His dad, Mark Williams, 60, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 16 years ago, and Sam says he’s been inspired by his efforts to keep physically active.


Sam said he decided to raise money for Parkinson’s UK Cymru because of the work the charity does funding research into the condition.

The former St Albans High School pupil, who got an undergraduate and a master’s degree in business and marketing at Bangor University has raised £775 so far.


Sam said: “I wanted to raise money for charity because Parkinson’s has affected my dad and my family. Parkinson’s UK Cymru seemed like the obvious cause to do the climb for because it’s something close to me.

“It’s a significant challenge. It’s obviously an iconic place to go. The altitude is going to be a major factor.

“I’ve been walking up lots of different routes in training for this. I’ve done a lot of walking in the Brecon Beacons, but the altitude of the Andes is more difficult to train for.

“Machu Picchu isn’t actually the highest point of the challenge. The highest point is before you get to Machu Picchu. It’s 4,200 metres which is really high, so you can’t really prepare for that. To put it in context, Everest is approximately like 8,800 metres.

“It’s a four-day trek and we’re camping as we go up. I’m going with one of my oldest friends, Tom Williams.


There are over 40 symptoms of Parkinson’s. But the 3 main symptoms of Parkinson’s are a tremor (shaking), slowness of movement and rigidity (muscle stiffness). Almost 8,000 people are currently living with Parkinson’s in Wales.


Sam explained how Parkinson’s impacts his dad’s life: “Having Parkinson’s makes every task more tough to complete. Things we take for granted become difficult to do.

“But he’s still walking around, and he still walks the dog every day so he’s still active and he’s still fighting on. He still goes out in the community and he’ll do a run every now and again. Keeping active is important to him. These things are linked and that is why I’m doing a physical challenge for him.

“The main reason I chose Parkinson’s UK to raise money for is the research element. They’re trying to develop more effective treatments, and hopefully one day they’ll even find a cure. I’d like to thank everyone that has donated so far.

“Parkinson’s affects the person who has it the most, but it doesn’t only affect them. It affects everyone around them too. It can be tough but we keep a positive outlook, which is perfectly demonstrated by my dad.”


Keri McKie, Regional Fundraiser for Parkinson’s UK Cymru said: “What Sam is doing to raise money for Parkinson’s UK Cymru is incredible. We’re very grateful to him for his efforts.

“Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. There’s currently no cure. But as the largest European charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, we’re determined to change that. We’ve invested over £100m in vital research that has delivered groundbreaking discoveries, new medications and better care.

“The money that is donated will go towards improving the lives of people who have Parkinson’s and funding important research into the condition which has the potential to lead to better treatments. Good luck for this amazing trek.”


Image Credit and Caption:

Parkinson’s UK Cymru: Sam Williams and Mark Williams, all rights reserved