When you’re in your twenties you should be thinking about exciting things such as buying your first house or starting your career. Sadly, for Laura Mackenzie, this wasn’t the case. Laura was just 23 when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Determined to make the most of her time, she spent the last few months of her life dedicated to raising awareness of the disease.
Pink Mackenzie was founded by Laura after her diagnosis in April 2007. The disease had already affected the family in the past – her mum Maureen died from lung cancer at 36 and her grandfather Taggie also passed away from lung cancer.
As her step-mum, Lindsay explains “Laura wanted to raise awareness and money for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation because of the help and support she received from the foundation.”
“Sadly, Laura passed away in July 2008, and since then her friends, family and neighbours have done many things to raise money for Laura because she could not.”
“There have been many charity events. Running the Edinburgh 10k, London marathon, Inverness 10k, Loony Dook in the river Forth on New Years Day as well as parachute jumps, Great North Run, Moonwalk, Pink Cocktail Party, Zumba marathon and Charity Ceildh have all been done with love for Laura.”
The biggest challenge to date…
On the 10th of May, the Pink Mackenzie team set off on their most gruelling challenge they’ve ever attempted – a coast to coast walk from Hull to the head office of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in Liverpool.
“We chose this route because we wanted it to challenge us all both physically and mentally, but it’s nothing compared to what Laura went through.”Laura’s step-mum, Lindsay
The 140 mile walk took 7 days to complete, walking each day between 17 and 20 miles through towns, cities and countryside.
Walking through baking sunshine as well as suffering with quite a few blisters, the group were overwhelmed by the people they met and support they received throughout their trek.
We were absolutely shattered by the end but incredibly overwhelmed by the generosity of folk- we managed to raise over £4,000! We want to thank each and every one who has given their time or money to help us on our adventure. We are truly humbled!”
Throughout the journey the group had many life-lasting memories, including staying the night with a group of sea cadets, and treasuring the moment when their friends turned up from Fife to complete one of the days walk.
After the walk they had the chance to reflect on what Laura would have thought about the mammoth walk.
“Laura would be very proud of us. She’d be laughing at us too along the way – we had a few mishaps! We’ve been in jungles and often lost our way, including the last day. I think she’d be looking down on us and smiling, I hope”
Pink Mackenzie undertook this exhausting trek in memory of Laura. If, like them, you’d like to remember or support someone living by lung cancer, Your Walk is the perfect way to do this. Your Walk is completely personal to you. You can walk as far as you want, when you want and how you want. It could be a personal walk around special and personal places, or a favourite dog walking walk.
As Lindsay explained to us,
“There’s only one way to get involved and raise awareness – put on your shoes and do something positive. Be strong, be real, and look out for all the positives you can!”
Our fundraising team can support you through Your Walk, from planning to sponsorship and advice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.roycastle.org/yourwalk for full details.