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Andrew Macdonald, originally from Upper Bayble, plans to row 100km on an indoor rowing machine within 12 hours to raise funds for the Maggie’s Centre charity, with the intention of raising at least £1,200.

On October 4, the policeman who lives in Edinburgh is set to face the challenge of rowing approximately 12km further than the Stornoway-Ullapool ferry route.

The son of the late Iain C Macdonald and Alice Macdonald, Andrew has been inspired to raise money for Maggie’s, a cancer-support charity, after his wife, Louise, was diagnosed with breast cancer in summer 2018, aged just 35.  

 “Since then she's had chemo, operations to remove the lump and lymph nodes, radiotherapy, is still receiving drugs every three weeks and will be taking tablets for 5 years. She has, however, made an amazing recovery from all these ordeals. Today she looks as healthy as she ever has.

“October is traditionally Breast Cancer awareness month, so by doing this charity event I can raise money for Maggie's and raise awareness of Breast Cancer, especially in young women,” Andrew writes on his JustGiving page.

“I naively thought that breast cancer was something that affected women in their 40s or older. Lou was 35 and it came as a shock. If this had been 10 years ago maybe the outlook wouldn't have been as good. Maybe that's in part a result of the funding increasing, allowing breakthroughs, quicker scans and women (and men, who occasionally get it), getting to grips with checking themselves more often. One in every eight women will be affected!

“Maggie's is a charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by Maggie Keswick Jencks.

“During the treatment Maggie's were amazing, providing a place to meet other people going through the same emotional wringer as Louise. Without funding they can't operate and funds are almost entirely raised from voluntary donations. It costs £2400 to run one centre for one day.

“The centres are built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals. Maggie's Centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need. Here you can find practical advice about benefits and eating well; places where qualified experts provide emotional support; places to meet other people; and places where you can simply sit quietly with a cup of tea. They also put on a range of activities and workshops for cancer sufferers, at no cost to the patient.

“I have set myself a massive, huge, ridiculously ambitious challenge with the effort required to complete the row, and I am aiming to raise at least half the money required to run a centre for one day, £1200.

“Crucially the money raised via just giving will go to the general fund as opposed to a specific centre so no matter where in the country you donate from you or your family may benefit one day, though I truly hope you don't have to. Any money raised from sponsorship forms or on the day in buckets will go specifically to the Edinburgh Centre so that local donations there are used locally. “

To donate, please click here.

For more information on Maggie's, please click here.  

If you would like to follow Andrew’s training and see live links on the day, join the Facebook group “100km for cancer”.