Fife police officer to trek to the Arctic as thank you to Maggie’s cancer charity

Don Sutherland, Rosie Small, Tu Edwards and Louise Duncan.
Don Sutherland, Rosie Small, Tu Edwards and Louise Duncan.

A Fife police officer who lost two loved ones to cancer is braving the Arctic for Maggie’s.

Sergeant Donald Sutherland was left devastated after losing both his wife and sister to cancer within a year.

His sister Fiona, who had pancreatic cancer, passed away at the age of 54 in March 2011.

Just 10 months later, his wife Valerie was taken by cervical cancer at 48.

He said: “To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was lost.

“In 2014, I discovered Maggie’s Centre. I wandered in one day with no understanding of what or who they were.

“But the staff listened patiently to my tale of woe and, over time, helped me to come to terms with what happened and why I felt the way I did.

“With greater understanding came the strength to move forward with my life in a positive and constructive way. I will always be grateful to Maggie’s for their support when I needed it most.”

Don is aiming to raise £4,000 for the Maggie’s Centre at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, after staff helped him through bereavement.

The 58-year-old, who lives in Kirkcaldy, has served the communities of Fife for over 25 years and currently works in response policing, covering Cowdenbeath and South West Fife.

Next year he will embark on the challenge of a lifetime when he takes part in a three day trek to the Arctic Circle.

During the expedition, he will be part of a small team, who will be pulling their equipment on sleds and hiking 15 to 18 miles a day in temperatures reaching minus 25C.

The team will set off in February.

Don added: “Each centre costs, on average, £2,400 a day to run and the charity relies solely on public donations. Without the selflessness and generosity of Fifers, Maggie’s couldn’t provide these vital services.

“As a person who has benefited from their kindness and expertise, it’s my privilege to try and contribute in some way, so that they can continue to help other people like me.”

Maggie’s is a charitable organisation, with premises built alongside NHS hospitals, whose staff provide emotional, practical and social support for people with cancer and their loved ones.

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