Ten-year-old Aidan Mackenzie has set himself a target for this summer – to get into training for a massive sponsored challenge in Edinburgh.
Aidan, who’s in P5 at Sgoil nan Loch, has never done a sponsored walk before, but he’s joining his mum, Mairi, on the Edinburgh Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk in September.
At 10 years old, Aidan is just old enough to take on a big distance, so he and his mum are in for the 15.5 mile ‘Big Stroll.’ They’ll be raising funds for the Beatson Cancer Charity, which supports the West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, an internationally renowned cancer centre and the busiest in the UK.
The centre is somewhere the family know well. Since dad Michael was diagnosed with grade four brain cancer 18 months ago, he’s spent long periods of time undergoing radiotherapy, surgery, scans and check-ups at the Beatson.
Mairi told welovestornoway.com: “It may seem to people that the Beatson is a long way away, but Michael is always amazed when he travels over at how many people there are on the plane who are also heading in the same direction, and how many patients he meets while he’s there who are also from the islands. Even his treatment nurse is from Harris.”
With the school term about to end, Mairi is planning a programme of training walks using peat roads round and about Lochs, to get both her and her son into condition for the challenge.
She said: “Aidan has known about his dad’s illness from the beginning and of course he thinks it’s scary and would like to do something to make a difference. It’s the kind of child he is – he’s quite empathetic and he’s been passionate about other charity projects he has worked on.”
The Kiltwalk is on Sunday September 15th and Mairi and Aidan will be in Edinburgh a little early. Mairi said: “I’ve promised him a trip to Edinburgh Zoo as well, and we’ll want to do that the day before, so that our feet aren’t too sore to enjoy it!”
You can support Aidan and Mairi’s Big Stroll by visiting their fundraising page at: https://edinburghkiltwalk2019.everydayhero.com/uk/teamturbo.