TAKING A HIKE: Alistair McIntyre has been inspired by his granddaughter.
Alistair McIntyre, from Galashiels, will be following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jimmy to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
In 1933, Mr McIntyre's grandfather, a miner, was forced to leave his pregnant wife, young son and his home in Fife to look for work in Kent, a 500-mile journey he did on foot and bicycle.
Now Mr McIntyre has set up the In Jimmy's Footsteps appeal.
The walk from Fife to Deal, in Kent, will take place in June and July. In addition, Mr McIntyre's friends and family will also host a number of fundraising events in and around Galashiels.
Mr McIntyre, 54, was inspired to set up the appeal after his granddaughter Belle McIntyre – Jimmy's great, great granddaughter – was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2011.
He said: "This challenge is a celebration of two lives.
"Belle is only six-years-old and has already undergone every type of treatment you can imagine.
"Jimmy McIntyre went on to help and support a great many miners, working with the union to secure welfare for those who were injured or suffering.
"The way Jimmy and Belle coped with the situations they found themselves in show character, strength and a determination to live."
Since being diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a cancer of the nerve cells – Belle has been undergoing treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London as part of a clinical trial. Around 90 children are diagnosed each year in Britain.
Belle, who lives in Canterbury in Kent, has been treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and a stem cell transplant.
Mr McIntyre added: "Belle is bright, funny and incredibly brave. The whole family has shown amazing strength during this difficult time and they are an inspiration to us all."
The walk will begin near to the Lochore Mine where his grandfather once worked. Mr McIntyre hopes people will celebrate their loved ones who have had cancer by joining him on parts of the walk.
Donna Marshall, Cancer Research UK's volunteer manager in the Borders, said: "In Jimmy's Footsteps is a wonderfully imaginative fundraising idea and everyone at the charity wishes Alistair and his supporters well."
For more information on the In Jimmy's Footsteps Appeal, visit www.jimmysfootsteps.co.uk
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