Like so many, Linda knows all too well about the devastating impact that lung cancer can have. She lost her father, Jack, to the disease in 2020. This year, in honour of their father and father-in-law, Linda, her sisters Carolyn and Ali and their husbands, Jim, Greg and Martin, decided to take on Scotland’s largest charity walk – the Kiltwalk. With Linda’s son, Elliot, following in their footsteps just a few months later!
“As life started to return to normal following the pandemic,’ Linda explains, “my two sisters and I along with our husbands decided to do something together to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
“Having known very little about lung cancer, we all used the information on Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s website as a resource to try to understand more about the disease and what we could expect after Dad’s diagnosis.
“The more we read about lung cancer, we couldn’t believe how little research and general support there was for those with the disease and their families and how often those diagnosed are diagnosed so late.
“So, we set ourselves the challenge of walking the 26-mile Aberdeen Kiltwalk in May of this year in memory of Dad. It was hard going at times, but the weather held out (thankfully!) and we had a great day. The amount of money we raised and knowing we were pushing ourselves in memory of Dad certainly kept us going on the day. We were delighted to raise £5,630 which was topped up by 50% from the Tom Hunter Foundation – meaning the charity received £8,445.”
“Doing the Kiltwalk really made us realise how loved our dad was and how many people’s lives he had touched. People were so generous, and the comments left on our JustGiving page were an inspiration and helped to make sure we all completed the distance.
“Inspired by this, and as someone who likes a challenge, my son Elliot decided to do the Wee Wander in Dundee in August and we were so proud of him raising £755 for the charity. With the 50% top up from the Tom Hunter Foundation, it meant that the charity received £1,132.50.
“Dundee was where his Papa lived and where his Granny still does, so he felt he wanted to walk in memory of his Papa in the City he knew and loved. Elliot thoroughly enjoyed it and felt brilliant knowing that he raised so much money all by himself.
“I think a national screening programme is vital. As I said, too many people find out too late that they have the disease. Screening will allow more funding, more treatments to be developed to treat the disease earlier and vastly improve the prognosis for those who are diagnosed.
“Lung cancer doesn’t have to be a life sentence, or certainly it shouldn’t be. And with the right amount of support, funding, and research, it won’t be.
“We are humbled that we have raised so much for the charity. The support we have received has been phenomenal and we know how proud Dad would be that this has been done in his honour.”