A “DETERMINED” Capital schoolgirl has taken on a running challenge to raise money for a leading cancer charity – just months after her grandfather was diagnosed with a terminal form of the condition.
David Fraser was said to be “holding back the tears” as he watched granddaughter Ella Reid cross the finish line at Cancer Research UK’s Pretty Muddy event at Ingliston.
The nine-year-old was determined to do something to help after David, 74, was diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer in July, asking mum Lianne “What can I do to help?” after learning about the illness.
And after the Gilmerton Primary School pupil discovered funds raised from participating in the race would go to researching a cure from the condition, she immediately signed up, raising more than £700 for the charity.
Kind-hearted Ella lined up on the start line alongside dozens of other children aged five to 12 for the race, which challenged women of all ages to climb, crawl, jump and run their way across the five-kilometre distance.
And grandmother Linda said she was “incredibly proud” as she watched the tenacious schoolgirl tackle the course.
She said: “When they found out, Ella’s first response was ‘ok, what can I do to help?’ We couldn’t believe it. Her mum said she could raise money for cancer research, so they found the Pretty Muddy 5k and she just went for it.
“She is a very active girl, very sporty, she does gymnastics and dancing, so there was no doubt she could do it, but when she crossed the finish line, we were just so proud.”
Mum Lianne added: “Ella was right up for it as soon as we found out what the race was. She just talked about it constantly, there was no way that anything was going to stop her from doing it.”
“It was her way of helping, of doing something, so of course we are very proud of what she has achieved, I think everyone was a bit emotional by the end.”
As well as the children’s race, the event also featured five and ten kilometre distances for adults and a host of family activities and stalls aimed at raising funds for the charity.
Cheered on by the entire family, including dad Brian and younger sister Olivia, three, as well as David Linda and Lianne, Ella took on the course wearing a T-shirt bearing the heartwarming message ‘I race for life for my grandad, he is fight cancer and I love him very much’.
And Linda admitted there was barely a dry eye amongst the family as Ella crossed finish line.
She said: “We saw her go through all the obstacles, all the way through the course and through all the mud and the wet. I don’t know if it was that, or the T-shirt she was wearing, but it set us all off, we were in the car back and everyone was just in tears.”
Linda added: “We are all just so incredibly proud of her.”
“The diagnosis is a horrible thing to go through, but having the support from friends and family is phenomenal, we’re so grateful to everyone who has donated to Ella’s challenge.”