If Paul and Claire Moir struggle with the length of the Kiltwalk, they just look at the picture of their son Aidan on their shirts.
The couple lost 10-year-old Aidan in 2012 and have spent the past 11 years enthusiastically raising funds for the charity that has helped their family so much.
His parents were joined by relatives and friends at the Kiltwalk each year and raised more than £25,000 for Robin House, Balloch, where Aidan received life-saving treatment from the age of five.
Aidan suffered from a degenerative neurological condition known as Late Infantile Batten’s Disease, which slowly deprived him of the ability to walk, speak, see or stand.
Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), which runs Robin House, last week marked a milestone of £1million in donations via the Kiltwalk.
Claire said: “We are proud to have been invited to join this special CHAS celebration to raise £1million through the Kiltwalk.
“It’s an event that means a lot to all of us as a family, because every year we are proud to put on our Team Aidan t-shirts and walk in his memory.
“Robin House and CHAS have been there for us every step of the way and have helped us create so many amazing memories.”
Paul added: “The t-shirts we wear have Aidan’s face on it so he’s really with us every step of the way and we always see his cheeky little smile.
“If any of us are struggling to keep walking, we just look at his face and think that Aidan has been through so much in his short life that we can do it for him. It’s just a feeling. great when you cross the finish line in Balloch – you feel like a real athlete.
Robin House includes facilities such as a hydro pool, art room, large garden and space for bereavement care and support.
The Moir family plans to continue their fundraising streak this year, with a team of 20 up for the challenge as Team Aidan.
But with Paul awaiting major knee surgery, Claire insisted he stick to the shortest distance.
Paul, from Erskine, said: “I need knee reconstruction so I’m on a waiting list for that.
“Maybe I’m pushing myself a bit too far – I’ll take the boss’s advice.”
Kiltwalk reps Joanna Taylor and Susanne Morrison attended the event last week in Balloch to mark the event and Aidan’s family.
This year the Kiltwalk will take place on Sunday 24th April, starting in Glasgow Green.
Participants can choose to complete the 22.6-mile Mighty Stroll, the 14.5-mile Big Stroll, or the Wee Wander which covers three to five miles.
All funds raised will be matched 50%, up to £5,000, by the Hunter Foundation.
Claire and Paul Moir have been attending the event for 11 years
CHAS CEO Rami Okasha said the pandemic has not only been difficult for the charity’s fundraising, but also for the families it aims to support.
He added: “People have been very generous, but fundraising has definitely been affected.
“We are simply determined to do all we can to support children and families, so we are redoubling our efforts to ensure that everything we do can continue and that we can grow.
“At the moment we can’t reach every child in Scotland who might need us, and we really want to – that’s our burning ambition.
“Many families we support are terrified of Covid because they may have a child with a weakened immune system.
“A lot of them are living at home and barely going out for the past two years – it’s having such an impact on people’s well-being and mental health.”
CEO Rami Okasha thanked the Scots for their generosity
The charity is now focused on the next million, with fundraising not intending to slow down any time soon.
Rami added: “It’s actually CHAS’ 30th anniversary this year so it’s a really special year for us to hit the million pound mark.
“We are determined to go further to reach every family in Scotland, but we can only do this with the generosity of the public.”
Paul Cooney, CEO of Kiltwalk, added: “CHAS is a wonderful charity that does really wonderful work. They were there from the start of Kiltwalk and it’s very special to see them reach £1million.
“We are very proud to support CHAS and look forward to welcoming their amazing fundraisers to the Glasgow Kiltwalk on April 24.”