IT set out as a hope, then a challenge. Soon it may be reality.
Edinburgh friends Andrew Keiller, Jake Halliday and Chris Chisholm, all 28 years old, are on course to smash their £20,000 fundraising target for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, ahead of taking part in the London and Stirling marathons.
Andrew and Jake will lace up their trainers for the London Marathon on Sunday 22 April, with Chris taking the running baton the following weekend at the Stirling Marathon.
The team, who have already raised £20,625 with gift aid, are taking part in support of Andrew’s girlfriend, Emma, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2016.
She had been experiencing chest pains while on holiday, but on returning home and visiting the doctors, was given painkillers for a suspected pulled muscle. After developing a persistent cough she was referred for a chest X-ray and diagnosed with pneumonia, but antibiotics failed to help.
Andrew says: “It was only when a respiratory consultant looked at another X-ray that Emma was called in for a CT scan. This gave them a better view of what was going on. After a biopsy we visited the specialist at the hospital to get the results a few days later.
“It was at that point that Emma and I and got the drastically life changing news that she had blood cancer.
“She is young, fit and healthy. It was nothing she had done, nothing genetic, just horrible, rotten luck.”
Andrew continues: “The news was absolutely devastating. It felt like so much time and emotional energy had just gone. It’s difficult to describe just how tough it was to remain positive, but we knew that it was all we could do.
“Emma was put on to a different type of chemotherapy in preparation for a stem cell transplant, and though extremely intrusive and painful, both physically and mentally, this worked extremely well.”
Emma went into remission in January this year, and the team are now focusing on adding to their already incredible fundraising total for Bloodwise.
He said: “It was through the amazing staff at the Western General in Edinburgh that we first learned about Bloodwise.
“It became instantly clear how important its research work is.” To support visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/KeillerHallidayChizzMarathon2018