A father from Auchenblae will embark on an emotional journey on Saturday when he sets off from Stonehaven to travel West to the Isle of Skye – on foot.
Gary Stewart will leave this Saturday (July 8) to walk the 185-mile route in seven days, to raise money for SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neo-natal death charity.
The charity is close to Gary and his wife Kimberley’s hearts, as they lost their daughter Nevaeh hours after she was born on September 30, 2012.
Gary said: “This September marks five years since we got to say hello to our baby girl and then tragically had to say goodbye the same day.
“I have decided to take on this personal challenge to honour what should be her fifth birthday with us.
“Charities like SANDS do not receive enough support for their vital work in trying to reduce the rates of baby loss here in the UK.
“They help people going through the worst ever imaginable situations which can effect anyone from coast to coast which is why I chose to travel from the east to west coast of Scotland.”
Gary has already reached his initial fundraising target of £500, and his wife Kimberley explained that they hope to riase even more: “It would be amazing if that could be doubled as every penny goes towards helping SANDS in their vital work and research.
“Fifteen babies a die every day in the uk alone due to stillbirth or neonatal death.
“Thats one every 90 minutes, the same length of time as a football match.”
Carolyn Bray, Fundraising and Events Manager at Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), said: “We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to Gary for taking on such a mammoth walking challenge for us in memory of his baby daughter Neveah. When you factor in the distance, long steep stretches and the unpredictable weather it’s no easy task for anyone. We hope that by the end Gary’s feet won’t be too sore, the weather has been kind and that he enjoys a well-earned drink or two! We are really grateful to Gary and his wife for choosing to support Sands and can’t thank them enough for the enormous contribution they have made to the charity. A really incredible way to mark Neveah’s fifth birthday and we wish him all the very best.”
You can follow Gary through his Facebook blog, ‘My journey from Stonehaven to Skye’, or visit justgiving.com/fundraising/garystewart7.