Penicuik man: Thank you for helping my sister

Brother and sister Kieran and Sarah Thompson
Brother and sister Kieran and Sarah Thompson

A Penicuik man with autism is in the middle of a marathon swimming challenge as a thank you for the care received by his sister.

Keiran Thompson is racking up 42,000 metres in the pool to raise money for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.

His sister Sarah (21) has attended CHAS’s Rachel House since she was five years old.

Their mum Elizabeth explained: “Sarah goes to Rachel House because she has the degenerative disease Leigh’s Disease. It has a short life expectancy.”

As Sarah has now reached 21 she will be leaving the care provided by CHAS but the family were keen to say thank you and raise awareness of the work carried out by the charity.

Keiran (23), who has learning difficulties, started his sponsored swim in July and expects to complete the marathon effort at the Penicuik Centre next month.

Mrs Thompson said Keiran, who lives at the St Joseph’s Service extra care accommodation in Penicuik High Street, was at the pool up to three times a week, aiming to complete up to 5km in a week.

“He is quite a competent swimmer and has been swimming since he was three. He used to train with Loanhead Dolphins and then moved to be with the Lothian Racers,” added Mrs Thompson.

Keiran, who attended Cornbank Primary and Penicuik High School before finishing his education at Saltersgate School, has set up a JustGiving page to generate more sponsorship.

“We have reaised £100 but it would be nice to be around £500. I know we are going to be over that,” added Mrs Thompson, who lives in Glencross Gardens with husband Andrew and Sarah.

“In a way it is a thank you to CHAS for the support we have had over all the years.

“It is about helping so other families in our situation can get the support we have.”

Leigh’s disease is a rare neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system. It presents itself in infancy. Those with the condition rarely live longer than their teenage years.