Ian Mycko is a familiar face at the Edinburgh MoonWalk after volunteering as a driver at the event for the last 12 years – and he won’t be dropping the ball come Saturday.
The 62-year-old from Edinburgh has found time to pitch in at every single MoonWalk Scotland since it started.
He said: “Like most people, I have friends and family who have been affected by cancer. In a world where everyone seems to take, it is nice to be able to give something back.”
Thousands of people will descend on the Capital this weekend to take part in the annual MoonWalk, a charity moonlit stroll that raises money for breast cancer and Ian will be reprising his role as volunteer driver for his 13th year.
When not ferrying people to and from the charity walk, which starts and finishes at Holyrood Park, Ian runs his own minibus service taking disabled children to school and used to be a taxi driver.
He said: “I have been a driver at all the MoonWalks – I used to be a taxi driver, so I have good knowledge of Edinburgh.
“Volunteering gives me a huge feeling of satisfaction, and if my involvement helps even just one person, then that is terrific.”
But it can also be an emotional night for Ian, who loves being part of such a good cause.
He said: “The atmosphere is amazing. It can be heart wrenching when you read some of the messages on people’s clothing about why they are taking part – for example, if they are walking in memory of loved ones.
“On the nights when I’ve come off my driving duties temporarily, I have helped people with all kinds of things – I have laughed and cried with them.”
Ian has lots of memories from past years including one of a teenage girl who had lost a family member to breast cancer.
She took a nasty fall and the medics who patched her up advised her not to continue but she was undeterred. Ian said: “I caught up with her near the finish line – she had done it! I gave her a huge hug. It still makes me emotional thinking about it now.”
One of his favourite moments was when he presented his wife, daughter and son-in-law with their medals at the finish line. He was very proud of his family, especially his wife who has walked four times. Ian is looking forward to this year’s event for a very special reason. He said: “This year, it is my birthday on the Saturday of the MoonWalk and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it!
“I would encourage everyone to sign-up to volunteer at the MoonWalk. It is one night of your life and it will be fantastic and full of fun. By coming together, I am sure that one day we WILL beat breast cancer.”
To find out more about MoonWalk Scotland and to sign up as a volunteer, visit www.walkthewalk.org