A KILBARCHAN woman will be stomping through the streets of Edinburgh this weekend to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Helen Arthur, 62, was first inspired to take on MoonWalk Scotland in aid of charity Walk the Walk when her friend Gaynor Ranshaw, who had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer, wanted to give it a go to celebrate the 15th anniversary of a successful operation to remove her lump.

Two years on from their first 13.1-mile jaunt, Helen and Gaynor are preparing to take on the half-marathon challenge for a third time on Saturday as they continue to bring hope to those fighting the condition.

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The 2019 version of the MoonWalk will see thousands of men, women and children march through the streets of the capital at midnight wearing brightly-coloured bras, with participants able to choose between a quarter, half, full or double marathon.

Helen, who is a mum-of-two, said: “Gaynor first approached me about doing the MoonWalk when it was the 15th anniversary of her operation and we have done it every year since.

“She is all-clear now and sees herself as one of the lucky ones but we want to keep making sure people keep surviving like Gaynor. Just because she survived, doesn’t mean we should stop fighting.

The Gazette: Helen Arthur, Gaynor Ranshaw and their friend Moira Mactaggart after completing the 2017 MoonWalkHelen Arthur, Gaynor Ranshaw and their friend Moira Mactaggart after completing the 2017 MoonWalk

“What people sometimes don’t realise is that pretty much everyone is affected by cancer in some way. I’ve got an aunt who had it and one of my colleagues’ sisters has it. You always know someone.”

Walk the Walk, which was set up 21years ago, is a grant-making breast cancer charity and organises events throughout the UK to raise awareness of the condition.

Helen, who works as a microbiologist at the University of Glasgow, added: “I remember when we did the MoonWalk the first time it was quite daunting but, as soon as we got going, we didn’t feel alone.

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“You could be walking it on your own but you’d never feel it because there are all these people with you who have a common goal.

“It’s the kind of event that does tug on your heartstrings.”

Volunteers are still needed to help the MoonWalk Scotland run smoothly.

If you think you can help on Saturday, sign up here

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