MoonWalk celebrates decade of cancer charity event

Carrie Johnson with daughters Megan, Ellie and Hannah are among those taking part in next weekend's charity MoonWalk. Picture: Greg Macvean
Carrie Johnson with daughters Megan, Ellie and Hannah are among those taking part in next weekend's charity MoonWalk. Picture: Greg Macvean
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WITH their trademark shimmering pink light-up bras, ­T-shirts and baseball caps, thousands of women and friends from far and wide are getting ready for MoonWalk Scotland 2015, which will see them parade through the night raising money to fight breast cancer.

The MoonWalk, celebrating its tenth year in Scotland, has raised more than £18 million to fight the disease north of the Border, and more than £100m UK-wide. About 4,400 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, including 20 men. Around 1,000 people will die each year from the disease.

The event on 13 June begins in Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park with participants gathering for an energy-boosting meal of pasta and rice and being entertained by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers before setting off at midnight for the MoonWalk, taking them past landmarks including Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat as well as along the Royal Mile and the shoreline at Silverknowes and Portobello.

Hundreds of well-wishers will line the route to cheer them on.

Walkers can choose from a range of distances to suit their fitness levels – the New Moon Walk at 6.55 miles, the Half Moon covering 13.1 miles, the Full Walk at 26.2 miles, up to the Full Moon at 52.4 miles.

Carrie Johnson from Corstorphine in Edinburgh and her three daughters, Megan, 13, Ellie, 11 and Hannah, ten, are among those taking part next weekend.

Megan, a pupil at Corstorphine primary school, is joining the MoonWalk for the first time.

Mrs Johnson, an actuary with insurer Royal London, said the MoonWalk sends out a positive message to those who have been touched by the disease but is also a fun event for participants.

“I took part in the first MoonWalk in Edinburgh and I’ve walked quite a few times with people recovering from breast cancer. It’s been a really positive thing and not only raises a lot of money but lets them see the overwhelming support they get. I find that everyone’s so willing to give to us.

“It’s always a real buzz on the night. My older two daughters did the New Moon last year and enjoyed being up so late at night,” said Mrs Johnson who has been training with friends.

“There’s a bit where it goes a bit quieter after a couple of hours, giving you plenty of time to chat to people you’ve not seen for a while. Then the sun comes up quite early and I remember seeing how stunning Portobello beach looked,” she added.

Nina Barough, CBE, founder and chief executive of Walk the Walk, the grant-making charity organising the MoonWalk, said: “It’s lovely being able to organise it but people also need to know why we’re doing it and see tangible results. We’ve helped build two Maggie’s centres in Scotland and provided equipment for hospitals including 500 scalp cooler machines which can save 60-90 per cent of a woman’s hair during chemotherapy.

“It’s thrilling to see them going throughout Scotland, including places like Stornoway and Skye.”

• For last-minute entries, volunteering or donations visit walkthewalk.org/moonwalkscotland or call 01483 741430.