Ryan Ayr from Linwood, conquered the 26-mile Virtual Kiltwalk challenge alongside four of his best friends and is on track to raise a fantastic £16,000 for the Hospice – smashing their original fundraising target of £500.
The team has raised over £7,000 and counting from generous family and friends, but their overall total is set to almost double thanks to Gift Aid and a commitment from Sir Tom Hunter to boost all funds raised via the Kiltwalk by 100 per cent.
Ryan – along with his friends Craig McKee, Daniel Melville, Grant Allison and Stuart Halliday – decided he wanted to thank, and raise awareness of, the hospice teams who cared for his mother during her battle with cancer.
The Hospice looked after Ryan’s mum Elaine for 9 days until she passed away in June this year, aged just 53.
Ryan credits the staff at the hospice for their care and professionalism during the most difficult time his family has ever had to face.
He said: “Me and the boys took on the Virtual Kiltwalk thinking we would raise around £500 – a small token of appreciation to the nurses and doctors who did everything they could to care for my mum during the most difficult time of her life – so to have raised £7,000 so far is unbelievable. Everyone has been so generous, and the final total is testament to how adored my mum was – each and every donation was made in her memory by people who loved her.
“She’d be really proud of us completing the challenge to give back to the hospice – it’s exactly what she’d have wanted. She was only 44 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and tackled it head on to be given the all-clear, before finding out it had spread to her lymph nodes and then her brain.
“Doing a 26-mile walk in only seven hours and 15 minutes was gruelling at times, but my mum lived her life to the fullest even when she was in unbelievable pain, and that motivated us to keep on going.
It’s exactly what my mum would’ve wanted – she lived life to the max no matter what, and was an absolute fighter, so she’d have approved of us all taking on a challenge in her name.
“I can’t imagine giving the money to a more worthwhile cause than ACCORD Hospice. They gave her the best possible care at the worst time. The only way I can describe the staff is ‘sublime’. The nurses and doctors were so professional yet had the most caring characters and as a family we cannot thank them enough for all they did to make my mum’s experience as comfortable as possible.
“All we can hope is that more people take inspiration from the event, and from our efforts, to fundraise even more for ACCORD to support the amazing work it does for people living in the Renfrewshire area.”
David McFadden, Fundraising & Communications Manager at ACCORD, said: “We cannot thank Ryan and his friends enough for their efforts in memory of his Mum Elaine, and are grateful to each and every person who has donated to them – particularly over such a challenging few months for everyone.
“The Kiltwalk is one of just a number of ways people can support ACCORD Hospice. Each event like this raises the vital funds needed to keep offering those in need of palliative care, and their families, the care and support they need.”