HIBS fan Davy Fulton’s 45-mile walk to Hampden, raising money for Marie Curie, turned to heartbreak when he learned his sister-in-law had died of cancer while he was making the journey.
The 56-year-old motor mechanic had been inspired to undertake the trek to watch his team in Sunday’s League Cup final after Cathy Geddes, 60, was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months ago.
She had been shopping for presents for her grandson’s sixth birthday when she collapsed shortly before Christmas.
She was found to be suffering from lung and brain cancer and doctors told her she did not have long to live.
Cathy, from Bingham, passed away at home on Saturday afternoon as Davy made his epic journey on foot from Edinburgh to Hampden.
He said: “I arrived at 4.20pm after setting out at 6am. I went with my partner, Linda, to the hotel where we were staying and my daughter phoned about 5pm to tell us. But we were in company at the time, so Linda kept it to herself for a good half hour before she told me. I was gutted. Cathy died at 3.20pm, while I was doing the walk.”
She leaves husband Alan, their three children – Jennifer, 39, Graham, 34, and Rachael, 31 – and two grandchildren, Rachael’s boys, Logan, six and four-month-old Carter.
Davy said: “Cathy was at Fort Kinnaird with her grandson getting presents for his sixth birthday when she collapsed. She got assistance from paramedics, but she didn’t want to cause any fuss so she didn’t go to hospital, she just went home.
“But she wasn’t feeling well, so she went to the doctor and had some tests. They sent her to the Western for X-rays.
“That was on Christmas Eve, then in January she was diagnosed with lung cancer and brain cancer.”
She was told it was terminal and she did not have long to live.
Davy said: “It was her 60th birthday on January 22. She made the decision she was not going to get any more treatment – it would only have given her a couple of extra weeks.”
Cathy carried on with life as normally as she could.
“She didn’t want to bother a soul,” said Davy.
She was at home when she died on Saturday. “She just felt a bit tired and went and lay down,” he said.
Davy still went to the game – which Hibs lost 2-1 to Ross County – but his thoughts were with Cathy and her family.
And he was touched by the sympathy shown by opposing fans. He said: “When we were in the hotel there was a family of Ross County supporters who came up to us – they saw I was wearing a Marie Curie T-shirt – and when they heard the story they gave us £50, which was amazing.”
Davy set a fundraising target of £10,000 when he launched his JustGiving page for the walk. He says he has now reached around £4000 and will keep it open until the end of the month.
“Everyone has been fantastic, very generous,” he said. “Even if I could get it to £5000, that would be great.”
He walked from Edinburgh to Hampden when Hibs got to the Scottish Cup final in 2013 and says he will do it again if they get there this year.
A Hibs spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear the sad news of Cathy’s passing. Davy’s efforts both this year and in 2013 have been fantastic, and the money raised on both occasions will make a big difference. Our thoughts are with Davy and the rest of Cathy’s family and friends.”