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Shona’s story

I lost my husband, Mark, to a brain tumour really suddenly. Mark had been living with a grade 2 astrocytoma on his left frontal lobe, but we had no idea. He hadn’t been diagnosed and we had little knowledge of the symptoms of his illness. He was just there one morning and gone by night. We were all in shock from this horrible and fatal disease so we wanted to do something to help, to stop others from going through – the devastation that our family did.

Mark had decided the year he died that he was going to climb Ben Nevis, but he never got the chance, so we wanted to do it for him. The climb raised £16,000 and since then we’ve continued to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity in his memory.

Now, I work for The Charity as a community fundraiser in the east of Scotland and I’m only more motivated to help make a difference.

Seeing how many people are affected in my local area of Fife, I want to bring that community together. I want to let them know there’s support for them nearby, that they are not isolated, and there are other families who understand.

That’s why I’m holding my own walk and opening it up to everyone in the Dunfermline area. I held a walk last year and it was heart-warming seeing so many people share their story and connect with others who understand. And we raised a lot of money too, allowing us to help those affected, by simply carrying around collection tins. So, after the success of last year, I wanted to do it again.

It was great to hear that The Charity is doing a new walk in Edinburgh this year. However, it’s on during the school holidays in Scotland so some people might be away. That’s why I’m planning my own on Sunday the 21st October 2018. It’s just before the schools go back, so everyone should be home from their holidays. I wanted to help ensure everyone has a chance to unite with others, get support and connect with local people who understand.

I’ve not decided on a route yet, but I want to walk centrally, starting along the Dunfermline streets and walking through a large park near where I live. I will end the walk at a nearby coffee shop or restaurant where we can have some food and a drink to celebrate. I also plan to take collection buckets again as this was so successful last year.

My next stage is to promote my walk. I’ve set up a Facebook event saying what I plan to do and invited my friends. I’ve already made great progress, with 10 people confirmed and 15 interested, but I want to beat my total of 50 from last year, so I’m planning on ramping up my promotion. I’m going to share a poster on my brain tumour page and let everyone know that they can come along, invite others and help raise money to accelerate a cure. I’m also planning on taking my promotion offline too by sending a press release to our local media, encouraging everyone in the area to join my walk.

The Twilight Walk is such an inspiring and fulfilling thing to do. Initially, I get a little worried it won’t be successful but with time and planning and figuring out what you want to do, these worries ease quickly.

Just seeing the people who come along connecting with others makes it all worthwhile.