A Dundee man has launched a fundraising effort in order to create a “legacy” for his baby daughter.
Andrew Suttie, 33, and childhood friend Steven McDonough, 33, aim to complete the West Highland Way in just three days.
The former Grove Academy pupils will be raising funds for the Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).
Andrew’s twin daughters Georgia Mary and Jessica Lynne were born on Hogmanay and remained in the Neonatal Unit for a number of weeks.
Jessica was later diagnosed with Zellweger Spectrum Disorder, a rare, life-shortening condition.
She has the most severe form of the syndrome — symptoms of which typically appear during the newborn period and include neurological deficits, poor feeding, and life-threatening problems in organs and tissues, such as the liver, heart and kidneys.
Andrew, his wife Jaclyn and the twins recently spent time at Rachel House in Kinross, a home away from home for children with life-shortening conditions and their families.
The couple say they are “overwhelmed” by the level of generosity from family, friends and even strangers who have collectively donated close to £2,000.
Jaclyn said: “Following Jessica’s diagnosis we were referred to CHAS and have been fortunate to spend time at Rachel House, a children’s hospice run by the charity. The hospice is a wonderful place where families can go to relax and enjoy precious time with their children. The aim is to fill that time with as much joy as possible.”
Andrew said that despite a 10-year gap between now and the last time he completed the trek, he was looking forward to taking on the 95-mile hike.
He said: “Steven and I decided that we wanted to do something to raise money for CHAS given we believe the charity and the staff at Rachel House will be invaluable in supporting us as a family throughout Jessica’s life. The response we’ve had so far has been incredible. ”
The family said when they received the diagnosis of Jessica’s condition they were “heartbroken”.
Jaclyn added: “When we received the diagnosis it came as a huge shock.”
“We knew there was something wrong with Jessica and suspected she had a metabolic condition whereby she might have to avoid eating certain foods.
“When it became clear that she had a disorder that meant she would only live a short life, we were devastated.
“We do not know how long Jessica will be with us for but we are determined to fill her short life with love and happiness and for her to be able to help others as much as possible.”
Andrew and Steven will be embarking on the walk on 18 August. To donate please visit justgiving.com/fundraising/whw-chas.