David walks tall to remember Madelyn
Battling back from personal tragedy and channelling that energy to help others takes a special kind of strength.
For 52-year-old David Buchan, it is a strength he has more than managed to muster.
This time three years ago, David’s family was rocked by the devastating death of his granddaughter Madelyn Jess Gordon.
In an effort to raise money for a stillbirth charity, David has set himself the challenge of walking 24 miles at next month’s Kilt Walk in Edinburgh.
An undiagnosed breech, baby Madelyn entered the world on August 3, 2015. Tragically, she passed away just three days later.
In the wake of Madelyn’s death, David’s family received bereavement support from stillbirth charities SANDS Lothian and SIMBA.
Grateful for the help he and his family were given, David was determined to show them a similar level of support in return.
In January 2016, David and other family members took a dip in the North Sea at Coldingham Bay, raising more than £1000.
Several other charitable drives in the months that followed managed to raise well over £4000.
David says raising money is his way of saying thanks to those charities that have helped his family, adding that a desire to help others suffering similar tragedies is what keeps him focused.
“We do it because we love helping all these special charities who have overwhelmingly helped our family over the last three years,” he explains.
“We get a buzz from knowing that others will benefit from what we raise.”
Last year, David enlisted for his first Kilt Walk, taking part in the 24-mile Mighty Stride, completing it in a little over seven hours. He raised £1000 for SIMBA. It was an experience he’ll never forget.
“It was a great day,” David explains, “The atmosphere when you walk into that stadium in Murrayfield . . . It really hit us last year and we got really emotional.”
For this year’s Kilt Walk, David is poised to go one better.
“Last year I managed to complete it in seven7 and a half hours,” he says, “I’m looking to take an hour off my time this year.
“Maybe it’s a bit adventurous, but that’s what I’m aiming for. I’ve been training for this.”
So far, thanks to friends and colleagues, David has managed to raise £100 ahead of the walk on 16 September 16. His goal is to make it to £400, this time in honour of SANDS. An angel in memory of Madelyn will be pinned to his t-shirt.
David’s partner Peter will be accompanying him, raising cash in support of the SIMBA charity.
But the pair’s charity fundraising doesn’t stop there. On October 27 they are planning to host a charity 80s night at their local village hall.