Walking 500 miles for cancer-stricken friend

Sally Major from Yorkshire, with ther family, husband Liam and children George (2), Maisy (6), Adam (11) and Ryan (12).
Sally Major from Yorkshire, with ther family, husband Liam and children George (2), Maisy (6), Adam (11) and Ryan (12).

A Bonnyrigg man taking on a 500-mile challenge to help his friend in her fight to stay alive is now looking for Midlothian people to join him.

Former Sherwood Primary and Newbattle High School pupil Alistair Armour (42) is looking for locals to to join him and cover 10 miles as his John O’Groats to Yorkshire ‘We will walk 500 miles’ challenge makes its way through Midlothian later this month.

Alistair stayed in Bonnyrigg until his family moved to Yorkshire in 1987, where he met Sally, who he now considers as close as family. Sally (32) has stage four bowel cancer, rare at such a young age.

Last month Sally visited the Hallwang clinic in Germany, which offers cutting-edge combined treatment, for initial tumour testing for suitability of a treatment that could save her life.

Alistair said: “It will cost £70,000 to cover the rest of the treatment.

“She was misdiagnosed for about five years. She was told it was irritable bowel syndrome and then when they discovered it 15 months ago, it was too late.

“All the NHS can offer now is palliative care so this is basically her last hope. Time is not on her side.

“At times there would be very good news, with tumours disappearing, but then they have come back again.

“We are now at the point where we are desperate to get this treatment for her.

“Over a ten-week period we want to raise as much awareness, not just about our friend but the condition itself. We also want to raise awareness of the symptoms to look out for.”

Alistair, who as a mascot led out Bonnyrigg Rose in the 1978 Scottish Junior Cup final, is calling on local support for his challenge, with volunteers walking, cycling or running 10 miles along the route.

He said: “We need about 15 more volunteers to help. We have 30 at the moment.

“We’ll be coming through Midlothian and down the A7. It’s a relay so we are looking to get people to do it during the night as well. I suspect we will be coming through around January 26-27 but we only have a couple of volunteers for Midlothian so far.

“We are looking for cover in that area and others we haven’t got covered yet.”

The ex-Royal Scot and now IT sales worker spoke of his second family down south, adding: “They are just a great little family. A great advert for how family life should be.

“This has been absolutely devastating for them.

“Sally has been a good friend of mine since I moved back to Yorkshire in 2006.

“I quickly became friends with them. They are like my family down here to be honest.”

To join the challenge email alistair@bist.co.uk. To donate go to www.youcaring.com/sallymajor-680286