800 people set to take on Kiltwalk for Beatson Cancer Charity this weekend

23rd April 2024 10:00

"Beatson Cancer Charity will be forever in our hearts and at the forefront of any fundraising we do because it's such an important place."

44-year old Laura McWilliam from Hardgate in Clydebank

The annual event takes place in Glasgow on Sunday 28th April.

The annual event takes place in Glasgow on Sunday 28th April.

23rd April 2024

"Beatson Cancer Charity will be forever in our hearts and at the forefront of any fundraising we do because it's such an important place."

44-year old Laura McWilliam from Hardgate in Clydebank

Thousands of people are set to take part in the sold out Glasgow Kiltwalk this weekend to raise money for charity. 

Over 800 Kiltwalkers are expected to fundraise for Beatson Cancer Charity in the event on Sunday 28th April.  

Walkers have a choice of taking part in either the Mighty Stride (22.6 miles), the Big Stroll (14.2 miles) or the Wee Wander (3.1 miles). 

The Mighty Stride takes participants from Glasgow Green all the way to Balloch, while the Big Stroll starts in Clydebank and the Wee Wander starts at Loch Lomond Shores and ends at Moss O’Balloch Park. 

Over the years, thousands have taken part in the Kiltwalk for Beatson Cancer Charity, raising over £1.2 million. 

This year the oldest Kiltwalker for Beatson Cancer Charity is 95 years old, while the youngest is just 5. 

152 teams are taking part in the walk in aid of our charity this year. 

67-year old Jeremy Bagg from Glasgow is taking part after his wife, Mary, died in November 2023 following a metastatic cancer diagnosis in March 2023. 

PICTURED: Jeremy Bagg and his wife Mary

He’s walking with family, friends and former colleagues from the University of Glasgow Dental School, of which many are from Glasgow and West Lothian. 

Jeremy said: “It was devastating news for both of us, but the treatment, support and care that Mary received at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre was outstanding.  

“Mary’s oncologist was superb, providing very clear, honest assessments and advice at each stage of the illness and treatment.  

“The palliative chemotherapy and radiotherapy she was prescribed had a very positive impact and allowed us to take three holidays. Those three breaks away from Glasgow provided an opportunity for some true enjoyment despite our knowledge of the bleak prognosis. I really treasure those times.  

“Mary’s oncologist worked closely with a consultant and an advanced clinical nurse specialist in palliative care at The Beatson. Their wonderful support and care were truly patient-centred, leaving Mary with significant control over her symptom management. Over those few months they became, in effect, members of the family.  

“I will always be immensely grateful to all the wonderful staff at The Beatson who did so much for Mary and I during the most challenging period we had ever faced together during 43 years of marriage.  

“I feel that setting up the ‘Walking for Mary’ Kiltwalk team to raise funds for Beatson Cancer Charity is a small but tangible way of saying “thank you” from both Mary and myself.” 

38-year old Phil Matthews is taking part in the walk with colleagues from his Cardiac Physiology team at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital. 

PICTURED: Phil Matthews, Douglas Gordon and Daniel Newman

The group, called ‘Golden Hearts’, take part every year for a different charity. This year they’re walking for Beatson Cancer Charity following Phil’s diagnosis. 

Phil said: “I was diagnosed in August with a Myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN), a rare form of blood cancer.  

“They begin with an abnormal mutation in the bone marrow, leading to an overproduction of blood cells and abnormal changes of the bone marrow which can lead to scarring and fibrosis. They can strike at any age, have no known cause or cure and a wide range of symptoms and outlooks.  

“Due to the genetic mutation and the type of MPN I have, I’m at high risk of blood clots including heart attack, pulmonary embolism and stroke. I have to take blood thinning medication for life and minimise any risk factors.  

“Despite all this, if an event does occur or when I hit 60 years old, I will have to start taking low dose chemotherapy medication to reduce the level of blood cells circulating as I'll be at a much higher risk of thrombotic events.  

“I’ve yet to require any treatment at The Beatson at present. However, I understand some of the physical and mental challenges that people who undergo cancer diagnosis and treatment and their family members face.  

“I want to do what I can to support Beatson Cancer Charity in providing assistance and services to all those affected by cancer – patient or relative - that come into contact with them as I know it’s very much appreciated.” 

26-year old Lyndsay Haughie is taking part with eight others who are all from Paisley in Renfrewshire.

PICTURED: Lyndsay Haughie with mum Jennifer Donaldson and sister Jemma 

The team, called ‘Jenny from the Block’, are walking for Lyndsay’s mum, Jenny, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2023 shortly after Lyndsay got married.  

Lyndsay said: “At the beginning, I really couldn't come to terms with my mum having cancer.  

“Each day got harder and harder as it’s the fear of the unknown. The Beatson has made my mum’s journey so far very calm and they’re always there to give advice and be honest with any upcoming hurdles.  

“My mum’s cancer is not 100% curable but manageable for now. The level of care she has received from The Beatson is just incredible from chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy and this is our way of giving back. 

“Since my mum was diagnosed last year, I have signed up to volunteer at The Beatson. This charity is so close to our hearts now and I will always support The Beatson whenever I can. It is an incredible local charity.” 

25-year old Eilidh Wynd from Dunblane in Stirlingshire is taking part following her mum’s treatment during the Covid pandemic.

PICTURED: Eilidh and Helen Wynd

Eilidh said: “The Beatson saved my mum’s life during a pandemic. 

“In March 2020, Covid was around and I had to celebrate finishing my final university exam in my back garden with my family one Friday afternoon. By the Monday afternoon, my mum had been to the hospital after finding a lump. 

“From then, my grad scheme was postponed by six months and mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. As you can imagine, this is hard at the best of times, but throw in a global pandemic where we can't be supported by family and friends visiting us, it was a real struggle. 

“The Beatson was such a support for my mum and our family. The staff dressed up for her 60th birthday, took part in her Covid Ceilidh fundraiser and made the whole process easier. Without their compassion and enthusiasm, our story would have been so different. 

“After an operation, chemo, and radiotherapy, my mum was given the all-clear on Christmas Eve 2020 and I left for my grad scheme the week after. She is now four years clear and that's all thanks to The Beatson.” 

44-year old Rebecca Muirhead from Torrance, East Dunbartonshire, is taking part after her dad died following a cancer diagnosis when she was 21. 

PICTURED: Rebecca Muirhead and her daughter

Rebecca said: “I lost my dad to cancer when I was 21 and felt completely helpless. Now, within the space of a couple of months my uncle and my father-in-law have both been diagnosed with cancer. 

“Feeling utterly useless and helpless again I decided I wanted to do something, anything to stop feeling that way.   

“As they are both being treated at The Beatson, and after seeing an advert for the Kiltwalk, I decided that was the answer. A major challenge for me as I hate walking but for two people I love very much.” 

44-year old Laura McWilliam from Hardgate in Clydebank is taking part with her eldest son, 11-year old Luc Davies in memory of her mum who passed away in February this year. 

PICTURED: Laura McWilliam with her mum, Kathy Tweed

Laura said: “We are doing the Kiltwalk in aid of Beatson Cancer Charity in memory of our Mum and Gran, Kathy Tweed, who sadly passed away in the early hours of Monday 12th February 2024 in Ward B2 at The Beatson. 

“My mum had been attending The Beatson since July 2022 when she had been diagnosed with stage four high grade endometrial cancer.  

“Every doctor, nurse, physio, radiographer, auxiliary and porter were so kind and made my mum's various visits and stays much easier to deal with. 

“She was fitted with her wig in Beatson Cancer Charity’s Wellbeing Centre too and received various treatments such as reflexology. 

“The staff in the Beatson Café acknowledged me too and recognised that I'd been there a lot and spent time asking me how I was, which at the time, felt unusual - as most of the time people asked about my mum. I really appreciated that moment. 

“My mum spent the last two weeks of her life in Ward B2 and in the last couple of days before she died the nurses showed so much care and compassion to not only my mum, but to my dad and I too. Her last hours were so peaceful and as a family, we will be forever grateful to the nurses on the ward that night/morning.  

“Beatson Cancer Charity will be forever in our hearts and at the forefront of any fundraising we do because it's such an important place. I'll always remember how terrified I felt walking through those doors with my mum for the first time but then how quickly I felt at ease.  

“By its very nature of existence I wouldn't expect the atmosphere to be as positive and upbeat as it was and is, but there was never far to walk without seeing a cheery smile or hear someone laugh. The services provided are exceptional and have been received by many other people I know as well as my mum.” 

29-year old Nicola Murphy from Uddingston is walking after her sister, Natalie, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 25. 

PICTURED: Nicola Murphy with her sister, Natalie

 Nicola said: “Natalie has two young children, Carly and Callum, and has been an absolute inspiration for how strong she has been throughout.  

“I chose to do my fundraising for The Beatson as they have been amazing in offering help and support to my sister.  

“Every appointment she feels comfortable, every phone call she feels comfortable. The work they do is amazing.” 

60-year old William McKenna from Hamilton is walking with his friend, 63-year old William Robertson from East Kilbride. 

PICTURED: William McKenna and William Robertson

William said: “The Beatson is important to me because my mother-in-law has cancer and has been attending The Beatson for a few years now and still is, so I have seen at first hand the wonderful job that they do. 

“My dad sadly passed away seven years ago following a cancer diagnosis. 

“My friend William, who I’m doing the walk with, also had cancer a number of years ago and he is now thankfully clear. 

“I’ve seen how cancer can affect not just the patient but also families, so any funds that can be raised for places like The Beatson to care for patients and carry out research to hopefully find a cure one day is worth it.” 

Maisie McCormick, community fundraising manager at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are so excited for the Glasgow Kiltwalk to take place on Sunday. 

“The Kiltwalk is always a special event, but this year we have our highest ever number of participants, with over 800 people taking on this incredible challenge as part of Team Beatson. 

“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who is taking part in the event for our charity – your supper allows us to continue and develop new services for cancer patients and their families. 

“We will be at Pit Stop 1 at the Riverside Museum ready to cheer on all the fantastic walkers and giving them a chance to take a break and grab a snack – please come and say hi when you’re passing!”