Not so long ago, David Choat was a fit and healthy father-of-four who loved nothing more than to go Munro-bagging with his wife Judy.

So passionate was he about Scotland’s grandest peaks that he climbed all but 15 of them.

But in 2017 the life of the former oil worker from Aberdeen was turned upside down when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), a debilitating brain and nerve condition that causes weakness over time and is usually fatal. There is no known cure.

The family was initially devastated by the news.

But now Mr Choat’s children have rallied round and will pay tribute to his beloved pastime by tackling the 15 Munros he has not been able to climb.

Munros are mountains in Scotland with a height of more than 3,000 feet. There are 282, according to the revised list that was published by the Scottish Mountaineering Club in 2012. This does not include 227 Munro Tops – peaks with an altitude of over 3,000 feet but which are considered a subsiduary top of the nearby primary mountain.

The siblings plan to begin their challenge in June and complete it by summer next year, while raising money for Doddie Weir’s MND charity My Name’5 Doddie.

Mr Choat’s son, Paul, 34, said his parents, both 66, kept the diagnosis to themselves before revealing it to the family months later around November 2017.

Paul, who was at the Scotland v New Zealand rugby game in November 2017 when Weir launched his charity, said: “I was at that game but had no idea my dad had been diagnosed. It was pretty devastating.

“Him and my mum decided to keep it between themselves at first because the symptoms weren’t obvious and I think that was to give them a chance to process everything and keep things as normal as possible for as long as possible.

“It’s been really tough as a family but we’re lucky we’re really close to support each other and our mum and dad. “He’s still walking and his speech hasn’t been affected yet, so he’s beating the odds so far and staying unbelievably positive about it all.”

Paul told how, for years, his mother and father racked up 267 Munros and relished the outdoors.

“Ever since we were children our mum and dad have been very active,” he said.

“He worked for Shell and travelled abroad for his job then settled in Aberdeen around the time us children were of school age.

“From there they started ticking off Munros one by one and tried to convince us to join them. That’s how they spent their free time. It’s been continuing for the past 25 years.”

Paul, who runs a property maintenance company, said he and his sister Becky, 37, and brothers Adam, 31, and Matt, 40, revealed the Munros and fundraising idea to their parents while at the family home last Christmas.

“For the fundraiser we decided we didn’t want to step on dad’s toes because he was still determined to complete them,” he said.

“But he eventually realised it wouldn’t be possible. After that we decided to combine our efforts into something.

“He had 15 left so we want to complete those and raise money along the way. We floated the idea to mum and dad.

“Mum said she’d be really keen to join us and dad would help with the organising. As much as I enjoy the outdoors I wouldn’t say I’m in perfect trim to go climbing mountains.

“But it’s good that we’re all coming together as a family. As much as it’s about raising the money it’s also about coming together as a family and helping mum and dad.”

Starting in June, the family will travel to the Cuillin range on Skye and the Highlands to hike up Sgurr na Banachdich and Bla Bheinn.

Afterwards they aim to reach the summit of An Stuc, near Loch Tay, Perth and Kinross, and in August they plan on taking a week off to complete five Munros near Inverness.

Having raised £2,737 since the beginning of January and exceeded their target already, Paul said the family aim to keep going until they complete their Munro mission. Donations can be made to the family’s fundraiser at: fundraising/munros4mnd