Lanarkshire brothers complete 65-mile Arran Coastal Way while on Easter holiday for secondary breast cancer campaign

A surprise Easter holiday turned into a monumental fundraising trek for a cause close to two intrepid East Kilbride brothers’ hearts.

In celebration of Ruairi Arthur’s 13th birthday, his family headed to their favorite holiday spot on the Isle of Arran.

There the adventurous 1st East Kilbride Scout and his 10-year-old brother Neil signed up for the 65-mile Arran Coastal Way challenge.

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The boys completed the grueling seven-day fundraiser on Easter Sunday and raised over £1000 for the Hearts & Hope 4 Helen campaign.

The campaign was set up earlier this year in aid of Helen Crawford, a schoolfriend of the boys’ mum Jean, who was sadly diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer last year.

Brothers Ruairi and Neil Arthur walked the Arran Coastal Way over Easter week for a special cause

Ruairi and Neil’s incredible feat generated tons of support and interest from the locals in Arran with encouragement and donations from the likes of Visit Arran, Arran Social and The Douglas Hotel who highlighted their challenge on social media.

Indeed, a generous local was so impressed by their achievement he handed over £100 for the fundraising pot.

Proud mum Jean told Lanarkshire Live: “The boys are both Scouts with 1st East Kilbride Scout Group and always up for an adventure.

“They absolutely loved this challenge and are amazed at the support and money they have raised so far. With a goal of £250 they are blown away at the current total of £1050!

Hearts & Hope 4 campaign is for Helen Crawford who was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer, pictured with her three daughters Lily, Robyn and Scarlett

“The boys didn’t know we were going to Arran or about the walk until the day before Ruairi’s 13th birthday so it has all been a whirlwind of excitement for them.

“They both loved doing the walk and would do it all over again.

“They said it ‘feels good’ to have raised so much for Helen and spread awareness of Hearts & Hope 4 Helen and hope more people continue to support the campaign and spread awareness.”

The adventurous duo are members of 1st East Kilbride Scouts

Helen, a 39-year-old mum-of-three, from Ayrshire, was given the devastating diagnosis just days before Christmas after surviving both thyroid and breast cancer during pregnancy and finishing five years of treatment in December, 2020.

Helen, a serving RAF personnel, was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged just 32, shortly after the birth of her first daughter Lily in 2014.

She was then diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy with her twin daughters Robyn and Scarlett in 2015.

The campaign aims to raise £100,000 for Helen’s medical and personal expenses, of which 25 per cent will go to the charity METUPUK which helps raise awareness of metastatic secondary breast cancer.

The 65-mile challenge took seven days to complete

Jean added: “Helen is setting the example to everyone around her of how to steer a path through the unknown future she now faces.

“With strength, courage, determination, and a hint of humor, she is living each day as it comes, riding out the ups and downs, and prioritizing over anything else being the most loving and gentle mum to her three beautiful daughters.

“She is unbelievable.

The big-hearted boys raised over £1000 for the Hearts & Hope 4 Helen campaign

“Spurred on by the outpouring of kindness and people wanting ‘to do something’, a group of family and friends have decided to take action and Hearts & Hope 4 Helen was created. We have hope that with her treatment, and her sheer spirit, Helen has a long life ahead of her.

In a heartfelt message to the boys, Helen said: “I’m so amazed by the selflessness and determination you’ve shown boys.

“I’m incredibly grateful for what you have done.

“You’ve raised an incredible amount of money and should be so proud.”

Make a donation to the campaign here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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