Fancy seeing the sights of Edinburgh while raising money to support people with cancer? Maggie’s Edinburgh Culture Crawl could be just the event for you

There’s just over a week left to commit to one of the best cultural events this year and sign up to the Maggie’s Edinburgh Culture Crawl to help people living with cancer – people like Gary McDougall.

Culture Crawl 2018 PHOTO ©2018 Martin P McAdam

Gary MacDougall, 48, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2018. An initial diagnosis revealed that Gary’s cancer was inoperable and incurative and the dad of two to Aidan (14) and Charlotte (12) was heartbroken.

Gary turned to Maggie’s Edinburgh for help in navigating the cyclone of emotions that came with his cancer diagnosis.

Gary said: “The Western General in Edinburgh was excellent in treating the physical side of my cancer but Maggie’s helped me to look after my mental health. When you’re given a cancer diagnosis people say things to you like, ‘you’re being really brave’ but I didn’t feel like I was being brave and at Maggie’s I was able to speak to a counsellor openly. Facing your own mortality is really tough. I felt very anxious and wasn’t ready to go and leave my two kids.”

Since diagnosis, Gary has been fortunate to be put on a treatment plan which miraculously reduced his tumour by half. He also radically overhauled his diet with help of his partner Anna, an ex-biochemist and fitness instructor. Remarkably, six further chemotherapy sessions down the line and Gary is in remission and his health is stable. A year and a half after his initial diagnosis and Gary is now doing Maggie’s Culture Crawl Edinburgh as a way of giving something back.

Gary said: “After all the worry I’d had, it was remarkable that the doctors were able to operate. I’m now well enough to be back at work full-time. I’m enjoying my life and relieved to be living every day with my partner Anna and my children in a way that I want to be remembered. Doing the Maggie’s Culture Crawl is my way of giving something back to Maggie’s for all the help they have given me. The services that Maggie’s are able to provide through their oncology and psychology professionals are absolutely brilliant. Their support gave me hope and I always left Maggie’s feeling better. I can’t thank them enough.”

Cancer support charity Maggie’s invites you to view your city in a whole new light while raising vital funds for the charity which provides free practical and emotional support for people living with cancer. Returning for a fifth year and sponsored once again by Brodies LLP, the Maggie’s Culture Crawl Edinburgh will take place on 4 October 2019.

The sponsored walk begins at Stewart Melville School, and meanders its way through the city taking in venues including Greyfriars Kirk, the Tron, Lyon and Turnbull Auction House, The Georgian House, The Grange Cricket Pavillion and finishing at Maggie’s Edinburgh.

Culture Crawlers will also be treated to entertainment from the National Youth Choir Scotland and pop-up light, art and photography exhibitions from artist, Alison Chandler, and photographer, Zoe Law along the way. 

Culture Crawl 2018 Maggie’s Edinburgh Centre Head, Andrew Anderson, and Maggie’s Centre Visitor, Carol Hudson PHOTO ©2018 Martin P McAdam

Andrew Anderson, Centre Head for Maggie’s Edinburgh said “Discovering our city as the sun sets and taking in its sights and cultural gems is becoming a calendar highlight. As a charity Maggie’s Edinburgh relies on donations to continue to develop our unique, high quality programme of support. I really hope the local community gets behind this event to help us support as many people living with cancer, as well as their family and friends, across Scotland.”

As the number of people living with cancer increases it is essential that they are able to find the practical and emotional support they need to cope with the changes that life after cancer brings. Maggie’s Edinburgh offers a way of living well with cancer. This includes ensuring that people with cancer in the region are really listened to, that they are offered tailored individual support, group support and practical advice, all delivered by qualified professional within a space that enables them to meet other people who understand what it means to be living with cancer too.

All of the money raised through Maggie’s Culture Crawl Edinburgh will help ensure the Centre continues to provide free, professional support to all those living with cancer who need it across the region. Maggie’s has a network of 21 centres across the UK. A total of 14 Culture Crawls will take  place across 2019 with the aim to raise £500,000 to help support people living with cancer.

Culture Crawl 2018 PHOTO ©2018 Martin P McAdam