A YOUNG Linwood man has stepped up to raise thousands of pounds for the hospice that cared for his late mum, by taking on this year’s Virtual Kiltwalk.

Ryan Ayr, 25, conquered the 26-mile lockdown challenge alongside four of his best friends and is on track to raise a fantastic £15,800 for Paisley’s Accord Hospice – smashing their original fundraising target of £500.

The team has raised £7,000 and counting from generous family and friends but their overall total is set to almost double thanks to Gift Aid and a commitment from Sir Tom Hunter to match pound-for-pound all funds raised via the Kiltwalk.

Ryan, along with his friends Craig McKee, Daniel Melville, Grant Allison and Stuart Halliday, decided he wanted to thank, and raise awareness of, the hospice teams who cared for his mother Elaine during her battle with cancer.

Accord, which offers palliative and end-of-life care to people living with or affected by life-limiting illness, looked after Elaine for nine days until she sadly passed away in June this year, aged just 53.

The Gazette: Ryan thought of brave mum during every step of kiltwalkRyan thought of brave mum during every step of kiltwalk

Ryan credits the staff at the hospice for their care and professionalism during the most difficult time his family has ever had to face.

He said: “Me and the boys took on the Virtual Kiltwalk thinking we would raise around £500 – a small token of appreciation to the nurses and doctors who did everything they could to care for my mum during the most difficult time of her life – so to have raised £7,000 so far is unbelievable.

“Everyone has been so generous and the final total is testament to how adored my mum was. Each and every donation was made in her memory by people who loved her.

“She’d be really proud of us for completing the challenge to give back to the hospice. It’s exactly what she’d have wanted.”

Elaine was just 44 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer and tackled it head on.

She was delighted to be given the all-clear by doctors but, tragically, she was later told the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and then her brain.

Ryan said: “Doing a 26-mile walk in only seven hours and 15 minutes was gruelling at times but my mum lived her life to the fullest, even when she was in unbelievable pain, and that motivated us to keep on going.”

David McFadden, fundraising and communications manager at Accord Hospice, has praised Ryan and his friends for their fundraising efforts.

He said: “We are grateful to each and every person who has donated to them – particularly over such a challenging few months for everyone.”

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