The love of a wee boy is spurring a gran and Fife-based auntie to take part in this year’s Dundee Kiltwalk.
Gran Jacqui Seymour is flying from Northern Ireland to take part in the walk with her Kirkcaldy-based daughter Laura McGregor, 35, for little Joe Degnan who was born with congenital heart disease.
Joe, who lives in Northern Ireland, is only five years old and was born with a heart condition called double inlet left ventricle which meant he suffered a lack of oxygen to his blood and major organs.
In his short life the brave youngster has had to endure three major heart operations, the first just days after he was born.
Now his grandmother and auntie Laura, who was a biotechnologist and is now a very busy mum of two young boys, have decided to raise money for British Heart Foundation Scotland by taking part in this year’s Dundee event on August 18.
Laura and Jacqui said they wanted to do the Dundee Kiltwalk “with pride and honour” for Joe.
“He has been through so much in his short life, but he always comes out smiling,” they said.
“We’re walking and supporting BHF Scotland to help raise money to fund research so that one day there might be a cure for Joe’s heart condition and for other babies in the future.”
BHF Scotland is hoping to encourage its biggest ever team of walkers to sign up for Kiltwalk, raising money for the nation’s heart charity at events in Dundee and Edinburgh.
Last year, 20,082 walkers helped raise £3.6 million for 1,156 charities across Scotland. A 40% top-up by The Hunter Foundation brought the total to more than £5m.
Lisa Robertson, BHF Scotland fundraising manager for Central Scotland, said: “We are so grateful that Laura and Jacqui have chosen to support BHF Scotland, helping us raise funds for our life saving research because unfortunately their family’s story is all too common.
“Before the BHF, four in five children born with congenital heart disease didn’t survive to adulthood.
“Thanks to BHF-funded research, we have made huge advances into treatment, detection and diagnosis so that now four in five children do survive into adulthood.
“But there is still so much to do.”
BHF Scotland is currently investing £56m in research into heart and circulatory diseases across Scotland, including at St Andrews and Dundee universities.
The Kiltwalk’s chief executive Paul Cooney added: “We are really pleased that British Heart Foundation Scotland is joining us again at the 2019 Kiltwalks raising funds for a charity whose incredible work helps thousands of people every year.”
Registration is open and for more information or to register, visit www.thekiltwalk.co.uk.