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A Kintyre woman walked more than half a million steps throughout the month of March as she raised awareness and funds for the UK’s leading prostate cancer charity.
Moyra Paterson, who lives between Campbeltown and Southend, signed up to Prostate Cancer UK’s virtual March the Month challenge which encourages people to walk 11,000 steps a day throughout March, to represent the more than 11,000 men who die from prostate cancer every year.
As well as almost doubling the 341,000 step target by walking an incredible 575,505 steps, equivalent to 244 miles, Moyra raised more than seven times her £150 fundraising target, with her total sitting at £1,170 when the Courier went to print.
Moyra said she had no personal reasons to support Prostate Cancer UK, which funds research into better treatments and testing for prostate cancer, but felt inspired to take on the walking challenge after finding out about it on social media.
She said: ‘I felt Prostate Cancer UK was a charity that wasn’t quite as well known or prominent as many other cancer charities, and it just hit me when I saw the challenge mentioned on Facebook. I think it is a great charity to raise money for.’
Moyra, a housing improvement officer with Argyll and Bute Council, has been working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. She lives beside a forestry track which proved handy for getting the miles in safely three times a day — usually during her lunch hour and before and after work.
At weekends, she would often walk in other areas — in Campbeltown or out and about round Kintyre — and she was sometimes joined by friends, after Covid-19 restrictions allowed this.
Moyra kept her friends updated on her challenge through a daily blog on her Facebook page and she said their support kept her going when she struggled to find motivation.
‘I’m definitely a couch potato!’ she admitted. ‘Getting up in the morning before work was pretty horrendous for me because I’m not a morning person.’
The changeable weather also proved challenging, ranging from beautiful sunshine some days, to storms and hail showers on others but music and audio books helped to keep Moyra entertained as she got her steps in.
To end her challenge last Wednesday, on March 31, Moyra walked five kilometres with members of Southend Fit Club.
She said: ‘I’m absolutely blown away by the amount of money I have raised. It’s extraordinary — I’m absolutely over the moon. Thank you to everyone who has donated.’
She also thanked her husband Peter and friends Sarah Livingstone, Agnes Stewart, Diane Ralston and Valerie Mackay for supporting, pushing and accompanying her throughout her challenge, and added a special mention to Frances Hill of Muneroy Tearoom in Southend, who surprised her with a special cake on the final day of her challenge.
Moyra’s fundraising page remains open for donations and can be viewed on the Prostate Cancer UK March the Month website at marchthemonth.prostatecanceruk.org
Although her challenge has now ended, Moyra said she hopes to continue walking — but added that her friends will be glad to know that they no longer have to sponsor her or read a daily blog.