Alison and her 'MoonWalk Mascots' take on The MoonWalk Scotland

I would encourage people to get together with friends and sign up for The MoonWalk Scotland! It will benefit your health and help others at the same time.

After losing her husband to cancer in 2015, and her 40th birthday fast approaching, Alison decided to gather her school friends and do something positive in signing up for The MoonWalk Scotland... and even created a team of Lego 'mascots' to take along with them to the event! Read on to hear Alison's story and how The MoonWalk has helped her with bereavement, as well as mental and physical health. 

“I’ve known about The MoonWalk Scotland for a long time and have always thought it seemed a lovely and supportive event.

I could never imagine running a marathon but have always enjoyed walking and walk to work as a way of clearing my head. The MoonWalk Scotland will be my first sporting challenge as such!

My husband Jude passed away three years ago from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was diagnosed in March 2015 and although the initial outlook was very positive, he died eight months later, on 21 November 2015. We have two children who were 5 and 6 when Jude died.

I was only 36 when Jude died and felt totally lost. I found it particularly hard when the kids went to bed and I was on my own – no more watching TV together on the sofa chatting about out days, or our plans. Just stillness and silence. About 18 months into my journey I was really struggling and I also knew I was eating too much, which was in turn just making me feel worse. So, I bought an exercise bike and started watching Netflix boxsets whilst static cycling in the evening. It is amazing how much exercise has helped my mental health, which in turn has helped me cope with bereavement.

I saw The MoonWalk as a good opportunity to get together with old school friends and as a fun way to mark our 40th birthdays which we are all celebrating this year. We are friends from Secondary School where we attended Portobello High. We’ve all been affected by cancer in different ways, and all have our own reasons for taking on the challenge. There are five of us in the team, plus an honorary member who will cheering us on from the side-lines as she has just had a baby.

I needed to turn a very negative experience into something positive and exercising and training for The MoonWalk has allowed me to do that. It is achieving something new that I couldn’t do before my husband died – three years ago I wasn’t sporty at all.

After my husband passed away, I went to the wonderful Maggie’s Centre at the Western General in Edinburgh. I took part in group bereavement sessions as well as having one to one support. It is great to know money raised from The MoonWalk Scotland helps projects like Maggie’s and that is keeping me motivated.

I have done some long training walks, including a 10 miler which finished at Arthur’s Seat.

It will be great to be able to do some of the training with friends – we don’t live all that close to each other anymore.

I’m not just doing The MoonWalk Scotland for myself, I am also doing it for my two children. I am the only parent they have left and I want to make sure I am here for them as long as possibly. I haven’t been able to control the tragedy we faced, but my weight and fitness is something I can control. I can’t stress enough how it has helped me mentally – I feel so much better and training for The MoonWalk, something very positive, has helped my outlook. I still don’t see myself as sporty in the slightest, but I have a new appreciation of how exercise can help you mentally as well as physically.

It is amazing what Walk the Walk has done to raise awareness of breast cancer and the support that is available for people affected by cancer, and I want to continue to help them spread the word. I would encourage people to get together with friends and sign up for The MoonWalk Scotland! It will benefit your health and help others at the same time.”

The story behind the mascots... 

"A few years ago, not long after Jude died, I took the kids to Lego land and the Lego Paynes were born. I made Lego mini figures of the three of us, annoying the kids hugely, and taking photos of the things we did. For the past two years anywhere we go, the Lego Paynes go too.

I usually tweet photos of their adventures. I love the wee minifigures and it became our wee thing. So when the Moonwalk came along one of the girls asked if the Lego would be coming along too. So a google search helped me fine and I had the torsos made up and created minifigures for my team mates. They will be coming with us on the walk of course!"

Feel Inspired?

There's still time to join The MoonWalk Scotland 'Circus'... or be part of the fun and join our fabulous Volunteer Team?!

Or how about in 2020... Register your Interest for The MoonWalk London now!


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