A woman who has a brain tumour has told how she will put her illness to one side to take part in this year’s Kiltwalk.
Hazel Bowyer, 31, from Monifieth, will join thousands of people in the charity event on August 19.
Numerous local and national charities are set to benefit as people don their tartan attire to take part in walks of different distances.
The most gruelling of the three – the 25-mile Mighty Stride – starts in St Andrews at 9am with participants taking in the legendary surroundings of the Old Course.
The route goes past iconic sites such as the Tay Road Bridge and Broughty Ferry Castle, ending in Monifieth.
Hazel collapsed while gardening in August last year, shortly before her daughter Amy’s first birthday.
A second seizure four weeks later led to tests at Ninewells Hospital, and a referral to the neurology department, with a brain tumour being diagnosed.
She said: “I don’t feel bitter about getting the tumour. I work in healthcare so I know it happens. It’s statistically likely to happen to people of all ages.
“I actually feel lucky to be alive because when I had my first seizure I had been in the garden. I could have fallen in our pond and I had been up a ladder about 10 minutes before, so I was very lucky to just collapse on the grass.
“I was initially told by my GP it was probably nothing but they sent me for a CT scan as a precaution.
“When I saw the look on the neurologist’s face when he saw the results I knew it was something serious.
“I was taken straight for an emergency MRI so they could see exactly what they were dealing with.
“I started radiotherapy in mid-October, but the treatment went well and I had a phased return to work.
“I’m on my fifth of six chemotherapy treatments at the moment.
“It’s been OK in terms of chemo. I’ve heard some stories about how it affects people but I haven’t been feeling as sick as other people, as brain tumour chemo drugs aren’t as hard-going as other chemotherapy in terms of side effects.”
Hazel is raising money for the Paul Young Fund, which is looking to fund trials of treatments for brain tumours not available on the NHS.
The charity was started by Errol man Paul last year, after he was diagnosed with recurrent glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain tumour.
Paul was told he only had between 12-14 months to live.
Hazel said: “I met Paul through having a brain tumour myself and my treatment.
“He set up the charity to support and fund research into brain tumour clinical trials.
“All the money I raise from the Kiltwalk will go to the charity.
“If my tumour does rear its head again, I’ll know I’ve done all I can to help both myself and others with brain tumours.
“In terms of the Kiltwalk, I don’t think I’ll struggle with the walk itself.
“I was a keen skier, cyclist and hillwalker, although I’ve never done 25 miles along a flat route so it will be a challenge.
“I did do the Three Peaks Challenge as well but that was about seven years ago.”
Hazel’s husband Jon, 36, and Amy, who is almost two now, will be cheering Hazel on at the finishing line at the beach in Monifieth.
A Kiltwalk has already been held in Glasgow and the Aberdeen event is held next Saturday (June 3). There will also be an event in Edinburgh in September.
Each participant is given a top-up by Kiltwalk organisers, worth 40% of the amount they raise, towards their chosen charity.
To donate to Hazel’s cause, visit dundeekiltwalk2018.every dayhero.com/uk/hazel.