After Ross McIntosh’s father Bill was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, he wanted to do something to show his support, spread awareness and give back to the charity that provided his family with information and support.
Ross took inspiration from his dad’s favourite football club – Hibernian FC – and created a unique challenge inspired by the team’s most famous supporters. You’re guaranteed to have a certain song stuck in your head when you’ve finished reading!
“My dad loves his Hibees” said Ross. “And by extension, he loves the fans’ anthem ‘Sunshine on Leith’, and the Proclaimers, the original writers and performers of the song.
“Their famous song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ came to mind, and I decided to use the line “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more” and adapt it slightly. So, I have committed to covering 500 miles by various means – cycling, walking, hiking – during the month of October.
“I have also invited friends, family, and others to contribute their own efforts to try and reach ‘500 more’ miles. I’m sure you see the theme now! The addition of ‘500 more’ gives people who can’t afford to donate anything right now an opportunity to be involved and do their bit for this fantastic charity.
“Undertaking the challenge with me are my mum Nikki, my brother, Barry, and sister, Vikki. The ultimate goal is to cover 1,000 miles between us and raise some funds to help the charity with the work they do – we’re nearly at 800 miles, so we’ve not got far to go now!
“It’s my way to give back and hopefully raise some money to help people like my dad.”
“The initial growth on my dad’s lung was found when he was in hospital for a gall bladder infection on the 5th of July. With tests following quickly after, he received an official diagnosis of lung cancer on the 6th of August 2021. Thank goodness it was found when it was.
“I was aware of the charity due to the profile of Roy Castle, and I knew of people who’d had the disease, but I didn’t have a lot of in-depth knowledge of lung cancer at all.
“After receiving the diagnosis, we received literature from Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation regarding his surgery and recovery, which we learned a lot from.
“Dad is currently recovering from surgery which removed the affected part of his lung. And he has a follow up appointment booked with the surgeon to discuss next steps.”
A personal challenge
“Taking on this personal challenge is a way for me to give back to my dad who has always supported our family. The generous donations by friends and relations are pushing me and my family on to achieve the goal and raise awareness of this disease.
“Of course, I set my fundraising target to £500 to fit in with the theme, and amazingly we’ve surpassed it with donations still coming in.
“We are so lucky that dad’s lung cancer was found early enough to be able to have surgery with curative intent. We’ve since learned just how crucial early detection of lung cancer really is, so I hope that the money we raise can go towards early diagnostic techniques and treatments so that more people like dad can be diagnosed early.”
Keep up to date with Ross’ challenge and congratulate him on achieving 500 miles (and 500 more!) here.