East Lothian family charity effort sets tails wagging

An East Lothian family has been inspired by their mum's diagnosis to raise awareness and funds
An East Lothian family has been inspired by their mum's diagnosis to raise awareness and funds
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ON two legs or four, they will cover a distance equivalent to walking from Scotland to Spain, all in the name of a good cause.

Now, a father and daughter team are gearing up for the final leg of their fundraising effort by taking their dog along for the challenge.

Steve Powell, 50, and daughter Madelaine, 16, have been on a year-long campaign to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity after being inspired by wife and mother Susan.

The pair, from Musselburgh, have undertaken a number of challenges over the past 12 months, including a tandem skydive.

But Steve is aiming to push it further over the next two months by walking 1,200 miles – around the same distance as that of the East Lothian town to Barcelona – around the country.

Steve will walk the distance through a series of 100-mile treks in the Lothians and Perthshire alongside Arno, his two-year-old Italian gun dog, with the aim of finishing by March 27 – Susan’s birthday.

Mrs Powell was diagnosed with oligodendroglioma – a rare brain tumour – in 2001 when Maddy was just six years old.

And the Musselburgh Grammar pupil admitted she and 13-year-old brother Luke found it difficult to come to terms with her condition when it showed signs of returning in 2009.

She said: “Being only nine years old at the time, it was difficult for me to grasp the concept of why mum was losing her hair.

“By living one day at a time, my brother and I have been given the most ‘normal’ life considering the circumstances, though our ‘normal’ can be very different than the perceived idea.

“Our mum is and has been an incredibly brave woman and she’s an inspiration to me and many others.”

Telecom engineer Steve admitted his hiking had been limited by Susan’s condition, but was determined to complete the distance in time.

He added: “It has been a really enjoyable year trying to raise my target as I’m doing it while out with my best pal Arno. It is also a time for me to unwind and reflect on how things are going.

“I haven’t managed to get as far afield as I hoped due to the effects of Susan’s eight months of chemotherapy as she has needed me close at hand, but me and my right hand dog have managed to put in the miles around East Lothian.”

The pair have so far raised more than £4,000 for the charity, with more expected before March.

Maddy said: “When your life has been changed and impacted so heavily by an illness, it makes you want to do all you can to help and contribute to curing it.

“As long as I am able, I want to do as much as I can to raise money to end brain tumours.”

Geraldine Pipping, director of fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We receive no government funding and rely on the efforts of the likes of Maddy, Steve and their family to work towards our goals.”