Julia McGlashan is photographed with her daughter Cameron
This story is a break with tradition! It is not truly an Edinburgh story but it is an inspiring story about one charity fundraiser. (And one of the Reporter’s great friends so you see it it’s not what you know…..)

We wonder if there are any of you out there in Edinburgh who plan to go on the cycling trip to Vietnam in November? If so get in touch and we will be happy to tell Edinburgh all about your story and why you are raising money for charity!

Or if you are doing anything else for charity then get in touch too – we plan a new section about charities.

Intrepid Aberdeen mum, Julia McGlashan is set to undertake a mammoth adventure in November, 2010, where she will cycle 400km from Vietnam to Cambodia in aid of the ARCHIE Foundation. Julia has already carried out a series of exciting fundraising events for the challenge since February 2010.

Human Resources Consultant Julia commented, “Last summer my daughter Cameron (8) was very ill and spent time in the Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital (RACH). After a few weeks they discovered that Cameron had Osteomyelitis in her arm, which is an infection in the bone.  Following an operation and 10 days of intravenous antibiotics, Cameron made a great recovery.”
Julia added, “Everybody Cameron and I came into contact with at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital was absolutely fantastic and as a thank you, I have decided to do a Charity cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia in November this year.  All money raised will go to the ARCHIE Foundation, which is the official charity for the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.”
The challenging cycle route, which is to take six days, will start from Vietnamese Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, through the rice paddies and waterways of the beautiful Mekong Delta into Cambodia. She will travel through breathtaking rural landscapes, dotted with ruins of ancient civilisations and small towns where Buddhist temples nestle amongst French colonial buildings and ramshackle houses.
Julia commented, “It’s the heat and humidity that makes the challenge so tough.  No matter how hard I train in Aberdeenshire, nothing will prepare me for the heat!  I have never done anything like this before and I feel a mix of fear and excitement!”
She added “There are over 20 people doing the cycle but there isn’t anyone else from Aberdeen and I don’t know any of the other cyclists – my biggest motivator in my training is that I don’t want to be the person at the back that everyone is waiting for, so that drives me to do a 60/70 mile cycle every weekend, and a few shorter cycles during the week.”
Julia kick started her fundraising by asking for personal sponsorship from friends and family. The response from this was great and has continued to come through since she started fundraising in February 2010.
She mentioned, “People have been so generous – not just friends and family but also people who I have met who want to support my effort for ARCHIE.
It was my Dad’s 80th Birthday at the end of January, and instead of presents my Dad asked for the guests at his birthday celebrations to contribute to ARCHIE, which raised over £450. This took my fundraising over my initial target of £3,000 so I doubled my target to £6,000 and began planning some other events!”
At the end of May, 2010 a dedicated group of friends joined her in a charity pub-crawl around Aberdeen. They raised over £1,000 and had a great night out too!
The summer has been fairly quiet but Julia has been busy planning the next wave of fundraising events.
At the end of August Julia will be opening her house up as a restaurant where she will provide guests with a 3 course dinner and they will contribute what they think is a suitable amount to her fundraising.
She said, “I will provide the food and guests bring their own wine so 100% of their donations will go to the ARCHIE Foundation. So far I have 4 nights booked which includes, friends, work colleagues and classmates from Matwork Pilates, and course my daughter Cameron will be chief waitress on these nights!”
The Grand Finale to her fundraising is in early November when she will host a Ladies Swishing Party at her house where friends donate never or seldom worn clothes for sale.
Tickets will cost £10 but guests will be provided with a lunch and a mini beauty treatment courtesy of a beautician supplied by the B’s Knees in Oldmeldrum.
Julia commented, “I didn’t have a bike when I signed up for the charity cycle but one of my friends Helen Turner has given me her bike for the duration of my training. Although I have invested in a gel seat and a gel cover to make those long cycles just a little less painful!”
Peter Hutchison, ARCHIE Community Fundraising Manager commented, “What an extraordinary challenge by an extraordinary person. Julia has shown fantastic devotion to the ARCHIE Foundation by her series of fundraising events, and it sounds like she has had a lot of fun at the same time.”
Should you wish to sponsor Julia, please visit her Justgiving page, www.justgiving.com/Julia-McGlashan24