A DEVOTED dad is attempting to pull a 120kg anvil up Arran’s Goatfell to highlight the struggles faced by people with type 1 diabetes after his little girl was diagnosed with the condition.

Davy Ballantyne, known as ‘Big Davy’, is hoping that his challenge will raise money for research into the condition, which his daughter Roisin was diagnosed with last year at the age of nine.

The Herald spoke to 54-year-old Davy, who lives on the island, after the first day of his Herculean trek.

He said: “I’m in a wee bit of pain but I’m ok, although I’ve just about no skin left on my fingers.

“I haven’t eaten all day because the thought of eating and then leaning over to pull something like that is not very appealing. But I made sure I had a big breakfast before I left.

“When you’re first told your daughter has diabetes it’s a massive hit. It’s wild and takes a lot of getting used to. It’s a real struggle so this is what this challenge represents.

“Climbing Goatfell without the anvil is too easy – anyone can do that. The whole idea is to highlight the struggle of type 1 diabetes and to let folk know that although we can have struggles, we can get there in the end and anything is achievable.”

Davy, who works as a bin man for North Ayrshire Council, has been training for six months to climb Arran’s highest mountain.

He started his trek on Monday, May 2 and is being accompanied by his friend Fraser Aitchison, who is photographing the 54-year-old’s progress.

Davy said: “I never got as far as I thought I would on the first day – we reckon I climbed about 350metres. I was hoping to do 500 metres every day but it’s turned out to be harder than I thought.

“It’s going to take at least 10 days. I don’t know if I’ll complete it but I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.

“I’m pulling the anvil up on top of a plank because it has to go over rocks and there’s a real balance issue.

“Not only does it weigh 19 stones, but it’s a horrendous shape and it keeps going over and burying itself. I could have used a smaller anvil but I picked a big hideous one!

“It’s one thing pulling it up, but it’s quite another having to lug it back down again. I’ve got to get my pals to help me take it back.

“When I reach the top, I’m hoping the mountain rescue can help get it back down again!”

Check his page at here.