Eilidh set for personal tribute to family friend

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FIFTH year pupil Eilidh Durston of Webster’s High School will take part in her first major run this Sunday in her own personal tribute to a family friend.

Eilidh (16), from Eassie, will compete in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish 10k run in Glasgow with her mother to raise funds for the children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.

CLIC Sargent is a charity she holds close to her heart and she will be running in memory of her younger sister’s friend Adam Lear-Jones, who sadly lost his long battle with leukaemia in June this year.

Adam, also from Eassie and formerly of Letham and Aberlemno, fought against the illness for seven years.

The brave youngster was coming to the end of a block of intensive chemotherapy whilst waiting for a bone marrow transplant; sadly his immune system was unable to fight off a cold and he succumbed to the disease in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

His determination not to allow the disease to get in the way of enjoying life and his many friendships was an inspiration to all who knew him

Eilidh said: “Adam was one of my youngest sister Seonaid’s best friends. Despite having leukaemia he was just a typical 12 year old boy – always having a joke and a laugh (often at my expense!) Our whole community was devastated when he died. He really was a true inspiration to everyone who knew him. He never complained and just got on with things which was amazing considering he battled with the illness for seven years. I wanted to do something in Adam’s memory and I chose to raise money for CLIC Sargent because I knew it was a charity he both benefited from and supported. The nature of Adam’s cancer meant that he had to spend long spells far away from home at The Royal Hospital for Sick Kids in Edinburgh. CLIC Sargent has a free “Home From Home” house across the road from the hospital so Adam’s mum, dad and wee brother could stay there when he was receiving his specialist treatment. Being close to Adam made life easier for the whole family at a very difficult time.”

Despite being part of a family of keen runners, Eilidh only took up running a couple of months ago and this will be her first attempt at an event of this kind.

She continued: “Until now I’ve just never really fancied running. I enjoy swimming and Zumba and have done ballet, highland and tap dancing since I was five. But from the minute I said I wanted to do the 10k my whole family have been really supportive and their encouragement has definitely helped me drag myself out of bed at 6am for my training runs! My dad is running daft and he’s done crazy things like The Marathon Des Sables, a 250km race across the Sahara Desert and the 53 mile Highland Fling race on the West Highland Way. My sisters Keira and Seonaid both run for Hawkhill Harriers, and my wee brother Fergus who is only five is desperate to join but he’s too young! Even my mum took up running last year and did the Aviemore Half Marathon in aid of CLIC Sargent. She has come with me for all my training runs and will do the 10k alongside me which will help me to keep going!”

Every day ten families are told that their child has cancer. CLIC Sargent is there from the point of diagnosis and helps the whole family cope with the impact of cancer and its treatment and life after treatment.

Kirsty McLatchie, Running Events Manager for CLIC Sargent, said: “We are delighted that Eilidh has chosen to run for our charity. It costs CLIC Sargent around £3,750 to support each child or young person through treatment. Lack of funds means that the charity can only help two out of three children and young people with cancer, that’s why we need more runners like Eilidh to go that extra mile.”

To sponsor Eilidh, visit www.justgiving.com/Eilidh-Durston