A WOMAN and her family take part in a sponsored charity walk for the ninth consecutive year in memory of her father who died of cancer.
Felicity Gillespie, 44, has done Beatson’s “Off the Beatson Track” walk every year since her father Brian McLaughlin asked the family to participate in 2014 on his 70th birthday.
Brian passed away in 2015 after a battle with lung cancer.
Felicity, of Brookfield in Johnstone, said: ‘In 2014 our dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and one of his wishes was for us to walk just to give back to The Beatson the care he has received during his treatment and until the end of his life.
“Giving back and donating your time to charity is also very rewarding so it makes you feel really good and I hope it makes our dad proud that we do it and continue to do it to this day in as a family.
“I love getting there and spending time with family and raising money for the Beatsons because they’ve really done a wonderful job looking after our dad and taking care of him and giving us more time with him. .”
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Having raised £10,000 in the first walk and £34,000 so far, Felicity will be joined by more than 30 family members from Paisley, Hamilton, Blantyre and Johnstone in the first live walk since before the pandemic.
One of them is his brother Stephen McLaughlin.
He said: ‘As a family we are spread across Scotland so we only come together on birthdays or weddings so this is another opportunity for us to come together and remember my father.
“We have nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts – every generation of our family shows up.
“We have 20 nieces and nephews now, so there are a lot of kids and there are a lot of dogs, so it really is a great family day out.
“A lot of people who do the walk have their own personal reasons for doing it. You see heartbreaking stories as you walk, but it’s the sense of pride that everyone has, the determination that they have to do the walk, and that’s just a real sense of community.
“You’re there with people who are going through the same thing as you or have been through the same thing as you, and I think that’s also part of the healing process where you feel a bit of a community with the people who are doing the ride.
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More than 11,000 participants in Glasgow have taken part in the 10k over the years, covering a total of 70,000 miles.
STV’s Laura Boyd and BBC’s David Farrell will host the live event, which returns on Sunday August 28 after two years of virtual rides.
The event will start at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, passing the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center on the Great Western Road, via the Kelvingrove Museum and back to the Riverside Museum.
Participants will receive a free t-shirt at registration and a medal at the end of the walk.
Maisie McCormick, Head of Community Fundraising at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are thrilled to finally be able to host our first Off the Beatson Track live event since 2019.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has taken part in the virtual marches over the past two years, but we can’t wait to see a sea of yellow take over the streets of Glasgow again.
“Everyone who signs up allows us to support more cancer patients and their families for years to come, and we can’t thank you enough.”
To register click here.