Three Macmillan support line nurses are literally walking the extra mile to the west to raise money for charity.
Departing on Monday, the three will take six days to cover 96 miles.
Christine Duff, 46, Donna Wilson, 53, and Lance Anthony, 42, previously lived in Glasgow before the epidemic but are now working from home.
He has worked tirelessly in Quaid, adapting to the growing number of calls, emails and web chats.
“The epidemic has made it very difficult for people with cancer,” said Christine.
“It has caused a lot of anxiety, often difficulty accessing services, delays in appointments, difficulty spending time with specialist teams – especially in the early days of the epidemic.
“It’s been incredibly stressful for a lot of people – that’s what we hear from the people we talk to.
“Some have changed their treatment plans and we get a lot of calls with questions about the vaccine – like is it suitable for me during my treatment and is it safe?”
“During and even now, during epidemics, we talk to people who are and are too scared to bother their GP.
“Of course, the biggest effect of this is that people are being diagnosed late.
“They know they are not in such a hurry. Stage Early detection of cancer makes a big difference – on top of a diagnosis that is very difficult to deal with.
Many cancer support services had to close during epidemics and were only available in practice.
“It’s not like sitting down with someone and getting support face to face,” Christine said.
“It’s good to hear that a lot of them are reopening now.
“People have also been deprived of the family and friendship networks that they usually have with each other and are careful – this has been and still is a really scary time for people with cancer.
“With hospitals running with such requirements, cancer services are under a lot of pressure.
“Patients are not getting the time they used to have with nurses and specialists.
“The good thing about our job on the support line – we have time.
“We can talk to people as long as they need to, what their diagnosis and treatment options mean to them.
“We can hear.”
Ahead of their challenge, the nurses are climbing some local hills to get some training before the big event.
Lance said: “I think we are well prepared for that.
“We have a lot of tips on how to avoid new walking shoes, socks and blisters and what to take with you.
“It’s not been an easy year for anyone and we felt it would be a great way to mark everything we’ve been through and hope to raise as much money as possible.
“It’s also taking us out, making us better and our goal is to enjoy ourselves.”
Julia Perry, relationship fundraising manager for Macmillan, said: “Thank you so much to all the people who have donated to nurses so far – they do such an incredible and important job.
“We can’t thank him enough for that and for his fundraising efforts.
“Like many charities, Macmillan Cancer Support expects a loss in fundraising revenue this year and is doing everything possible to limit its impact on its services.
“Our first priority is to help people with cancer in every way possible.
“The pressure on our frontline services has never been greater and Macmillan desperately needs funding to provide significant support.
“I wish the nurses a wonderful journey and hope the Scottish weather is right for them – good luck.”
For donations on the fundraising page, visit: https://tinyurl.com/zdts9ydc.
The Macmillan Support Line is available at 0808 8080000 and can help with medical, practical and financial information.
The line is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.