Thrill seekers are being encouraged to take on a challenge to support patients and their families going through cancer treatment in 2024.
Beatson Cancer Charity provides many challenge events throughout the year, but people are also supported to take on their own adventure – whether it’s a run, skydive, sail, hike or something else.
Some Beatson Cancer Charity supporters have been taking on challenges outside of the UK.
33-year old Ashleigh Carroll from Thornliebank took on Mount Everest Base Camp in November 2023 and raised £470 for Beatson Cancer Charity.
PICTURED: Ashleigh Carroll climbing Mount Everest Base Camp
Ashleigh explains why she decided to take on the challenge.
She said: “During lockdown, I started to do munros here and there because there was nothing else to do. That's what got me hill climbing but then I stopped for a while once everything went back to normal.
“I was on Instagram one day and I saw a girl I used to work with had done Everest and her pictures looked amazing - so I thought ‘I’m doing that’.
“I messaged her and asked who she did it through and how she did it. I got a bit of information from her, went onto the website she had booked it on and booked it and that was me signed up.”
Ashleigh confessed she didn’t do any training before taking on the mammoth challenge.
Ashleigh continued: “From the time I signed up to the time I went, I didn't do any training at all.
“I didn't practice any munros - I didn't go to the gym or anything.
“Everybody thought I was mental but when I have the mentality that I'm going to do something, I'll do it. I just thought ‘it’s fine, what’s the worst that can happen?’”
Ashleigh took on the challenge by herself but joined an expedition group to complete it. It took them 8 days to reach base camp.
PICTURED: Ashleigh takes on Mount Everest Base Camp
Ashleigh says she was always going to take on the challenge, and then friends and family encouraged her to do it for charity.
She said: “I wasn't going to fundraise to start with, but everyone kept asking if I was doing it for charity.
“I just thought I might as well do it for charity after that. I'd already done the Kiltwalk in April for Beatson Cancer Charity so I thought even if I can get a bit more raised then every little helps.
“Beatson Cancer Charity was nominated as our Charity of the Year at my work so all our fundraising went there.
“I’ve also had quite a few family members pass away after a cancer diagnosis, so that’s also why I was happy to do it for Beatson Cancer Charity.
“If you’re going to do something, you may as well do it for a charity. If you’ve got any event or anything happening at all... If there’s an opportunity for you to raise any money for a charity, then why not do it?”
72-year old Graham Reid from the south side of Glasgow took part in the Camino de Santiago challenge last year and raised £6,680 for Beatson Cancer Charity.
PICTURED: Graham Reid completing the Camino de Santiago
He took on the walk for the charity following his wife’s bowel cancer diagnosis in 2020 and his own lymphoma cancer diagnosis in 2022.
He started his journey for the 500-mile walk on 9th September 2023 when he flew to Paris and got a train down to Bayon. He then got another train to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, stayed in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and set off a couple of days later.
The walk begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port which is in the Pyrénées, goes along the North Coast of Spain through the Rioja region, through Galicia, and then on to Santiago.
Graham walked between 15 and 20 miles every day and took 40 days to complete it.
PICTURED: Graham and his wife, Jane, finishing the Camino de Santiago
Graham’s work colleague, Lorraine Scott, encouraged him to fundraise for charity as part of the challenge and set up a JustGiving page for Graham.
On raising a fantastic amount for charity, Graham said: “It makes me feel good but if it wasn't for Lorraine getting involved, I wouldn’t have even known how to set it up.
“A lot of people, friends, family and clients donated to it. People I met on the walk along the way also donated – someone donated £100 to it after I met them.”
Graham's employer, T L Dallas, matched the amount he fundraised and donated it to their own charitable trust.
Over 300,000 people take on the Camino de Santiago each year. Graham said it was emotional completing the trip.
“Taking on a challenge like this has to come from within. You could say ‘oh you should do this’, but you need to want to do it.
“I didn't see it as a challenge, I just thought of it as going a walk.”
Niall Gibson, community and challenges fundraiser at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We’re always really inspired when people choose to take on challenges and fundraise for our charity.
“Taking on a challenge in Scotland is one thing, but going abroad and pushing yourself to achieve something like Mount Everest Base Camp or completing the Camino de Santiago is just incredible.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who chooses to fundraise for us – the money raised allows us to support more cancer patients and their families in the future.”
Find a challenge to take on for Beatson Cancer Charity this year here.