Hibs fan raises £1,875 for Parkinson’s UK with walk from Livingston to Easter Road

A young Hibs fan has raised £1,875 to charity by walking from his Livingston home to Easter Road.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:45 pm
Baillie’s mum was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which led him to take action and raise money for the charity.

Baillie Smith raised the magic figure – chosen specifically to mirror the year Hibs were founded – for Parkinson’s UK, a charity which is close to his

heart.

The 20-year-old from Livingston walked 13 miles from his home to Easter Road – the stadium of his beloved Hibs.

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When his friends heard about the walk they got involved, and it took the boys just over seven hours to complete their journey.

His mother, Pauline Hannigan, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in December last year at the age of 54.

He decided that he wanted to take action and help raise funds for Parkinson’s UK. The charity, like many others, has been affected by the pandemic and has had to cancel its popular Walk for Parkinson’s. They are still encouraging people to get involved by doing a socially distanced walk in your local area.

Baillie set a fundraising goal of £500 but was overwhelmed when he tripled that and raised a total of £1,875.

Baillie said: “My mum got diagnosed with Parkinson’s last December and it came on pretty quickly. She took a fall in the house and alarm bells started ringing. I hadn’t really heard much of the condition before but once my mum got diagnosed, I started to look into it, and I decided I wanted to do something to raise money and awareness.

“One of the things I found the hardest was that there is no cure and my mum’s condition will get worse over time, so I hope it helps find a cure."

Amazingly, the young Hibs fan says the fact his fundraising total ended up at such a special figure was completely by chance.

He added: “I’ve raised £1,875 which is the same number as the year Hibs were formed - but it genuinely wasn’t even meant!

Hibs star and Wales international Christian Doidge congratulated Baillie on his achievement.

He said: “Hi Baillie, just a quick message to say a massive well done on what you’ve managed to do.

“Obviously very sad to hear about your mum but doing that walk from Livingston to Easter Road is a great achievement and to raise that money is unreal. Hopefully we’ll see you soon at Easter Road!”

Marion Pirrie, Regional Fundraiser for East of Scotland said: “Baillie set himself a real challenge by planning a 13-mile walk to Easter Road from his home in Livingston and we’re absolutely bowled over by the effort he put in.

“There are more than 300 people with Parkinson’s in West Lothian and over 900 people in the City of Edinburgh living with the condition and these are difficult times for our community. Thanks to the amazing support of people like Baillie, we’re adapting by boosting our helpline capacity, providing tailored online exercise classes and making sure people who normally receive face-to-face support continue to do so in new ways.

Parkinson’s is a brain condition that occurs when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. About 12,400 people in Scotland have Parkinson’s - which is around one in every 375 adults. There are over 40 recognised symptoms that affect every aspect of daily life.

To support Parkinson’s UK visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk.

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