A grateful mum has praised the Archie Foundation’s Tayside Appeal following her 11-year-old son’s surgery at the Tayside Children’s Hospital.
The annual Santa Dash returns to Dundee on December 2 and is raising money for a new children’s operating theatre suite at the hospital, which is attached to Ninewells.
Finlay McKay, 11, from Coupar Angus, had an operation to remove growths on his eye.
His mum, Moira Cummings, 35, a carer, said: “This was the first time Finlay had been in Ninewells – he was in for day surgery.
“The new theatre suite is a positive because it might help keep waiting times down.
“We will probably go along to the city centre to watch the Santa Dash.”
Finlay’s aunt, Mandy Chisholm, 44, a factory worker also from Coupar Angus, praised the treatment her nephew received in the hospital.
She said: “There are really good facilities for kids there and the staff were really nice.
“It’s definitely a good thing if improvements are being made to the hospital which will put the kids at ease – that is half the battle.
“Any improvement is good. The new suite will definitely help the children.”
Finlay, who is in P7 at Coupar Angus Primary, was delighted to meet Santa Claus before his operation.
He kept himself busy playing computer games from his hospital bed, while tucked up in pyjamas.
He said: “I’m happy because I get a week off school and I feel fine about being in hospital.
“I’m looking forward to getting the operation out of the way.”
The Archie Foundation Tayside Appeal is working towards its £2 million target, and the Santa Dash is hoping to raise at least £8,000 for the new operating suite, after raising £5,500 last year.
The event is being sponsored by furniture and carpet company, Gillies, and is also being backed by the Evening Telegraph and Wave FM.
People across Dundee will don their Santa suits for the dash and follow a 2k route through the city centre.
Garry Smith, communications officer for Leisure and Culture Dundee, said: “It’s quite heartwarming meeting the kids because you get to see the people benefiting from the Archie appeal.
“It’s really good to put a face to a person as well. You can see how much the parents appreciate everything.”
Linda Meiklejohn, fundraising co-ordinator for Archie, said that meeting the children being helped by the appeal was important.
She said: “I absolutely love meeting the children.
“It makes it all worthwhile, especially kids like Finlay, who will benefit from the child-friendly equipment the new suite will have. My favourite part of the job is meeting the kids.”
Bookings for the dash close next Wednesday and can be made online or in person at Central Library, Olympia or Dundee Ice Arena.
For more details, go to leisureandculturedundee.com/santadash.
Those taking part can also start fundraising with Virgin Money Giving at bit.ly/2qltwDY.