Edinburgh Kiltwalk 2019: Bethany Christian Trust volunteer living with fibromyalgia to raise funds for Capital's homeless
Emma Dolphin wants to “push herself to the limit” in September as she joins thousands of other kilt-clad competitors for the annual Edinburgh Kiltwalk.
The 26-year-old, who lives with fibromyalgia, will be joined by fiancé Joe Lee and dog Seb on the 26-mile walk as she aims to raise funds for the Bethany Christian Trust.
The condition causes pain all over the body as well as extreme fatigue, muscle stiffness, difficulty sleeping and problems with memory and concentration.
However, despite the “unthinkable” task ahead of her, Emma, 26, hopes to inspire others to overcome their physical barriers.
She said: “This walk is going to be a major challenge for me – I suffer from fibromyalgia which makes extensive physical exercise a challenge.
“I am definitely pushing myself to my limits with this challenge and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.
“But I am really looking forward to it as well, I hope I can inspire other people to push themselves to their limits.”
The trio have been training hard for the event, with collie cross Seb and Joe, 29, accompanying Emma on regular walks in preparation.
And Emma admitted she would not be able to take on the challenge without the support of her “team”. She said: “When I am facing my personal challenges, I’m doing it in a lovely home with a comfortable future and an incredible support network. Homeless people in Edinburgh don’t have that, they don’t know what the next day holds for them. If I can do something really hard to make their life at least a little easier, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Emma works part-time as a fundraiser for Bethany but this is her first fundraising challenge for the organisation.
The charity works to end homelessness in Scotland and currently supports over 7,000 individuals.
Bethany is just one of hundreds of charities that will be represented at the Kiltwalk, an event that historically sees thousands of walkers and runners challenge themselves for organisations in Scotland.
Participants lace up their walking boots to take on one of three challenges – the 24-mile Mighty Stride, 15.5-mile Big Stroll or five-mile Wee Wander.
And Emma admitted she was looking forward to joining the other fundraisers, adding: “I’m part of a team at Bethany that is responsible for writing fundraising campaigns and I ask other people to fundraise for Bethany all the time, so I thought it was about time I put my money where my mouth is.”