Paws For Thought

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By Tracy Mukherjee

During lockdown the sense of isolation we all felt was truly palpable but many of us had family with us at home, or even better, our dog. The comfort our pups always give us, but certainly in times of struggle, is immeasurable. And if you are living with or caring for someone with Cancer then that companionship becomes ever more precious.

And so was born the Beatson Paw Walk, a virtual charity event created in 2020 during lockdown. So successful was the event that the Beatson Cancer Charity, which fundraises for The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (The Beatson) decided to run it again in 2021. Charlene Low, the charity’s Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser says, ‘Last year’s event was inspired due to lockdown and the fact that dogs bring such comfort to people, especially during lockdown but got me thinking of those facing cancer who were even more isolated, and it was something to do to continue to raise funds but also to share stories of their dogs and how they are such a great support to us humans.’

The event will run during National Dog Week from 20th – 26th September and involves, simply taking your four-legged buddy for a walk. During last year’s fundraiser Charlene says ‘People walked all over Scotland, local parks, up Munro’s, Ben Ann, etc.  (They) walked while they were holidaying in Scotland, was lovely to see all the different dogs in different locations sporting their Beatson Doggy Bandana.’

What’s that you say? A doggy bandana???? And just when you thought your hairy baby couldn’t get any cuter. For a mere £10 registration fee you will receive a Beatson bandana for your chum and a Beatson t-shirt to sport on your walk. That fee of course wouldn’t preclude you from, say, setting up a Just Giving page under your dog’s name to help raise even more.

In addition, your handsome hound could be in with a chance of becoming the next Ambassadog! After you have completed your walk Charlene says ‘We then want people to send in pictures to the dedicated email address or via our social media channels of their pooches with their Bandana and tell us why they should be the Beatson’s next Ambassadog. Last year’s Ambassadog winner Comet was a great comfort to owner Claire who lost her mum to cancer and having Comet brought her happiness during some tough times. Comet is on all the current flyers and was also the face of our flagship event Off the Beatson Track.’

Let’s not forget what the Paw Walk is in aid of.  We all know how hard things have been for charitable organisations during lockdown, with many having to close due to lack of funds. It’s important to take a minute to contemplate just how vital fundraising is and what it goes towards. The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (The Beatson) is the largest in Scotland and delivers care to thousands of patients across the West of Scotland. The Beatson Cancer Charity is dedicated to enhancing patient wellbeing, helping patients to self-manage their condition. The charity also funds specialists posts at the centre, research and education, as well as providing vital support to patients and their carers throughout treatment. The charity firmly believes that “no-one should face cancer on their own.”

And with that in mind, that wagging tail and docile eyes will undoubtedly bring respite during those challenging periods of treatment and rehabilitation. So, let’s celebrate man’s best friend, pick up the lead by the door and get our walking boots on for the Beatson Cancer Charity.

For more information and to register – www.beatsoncancercharity.org/events/2021/september/paw-walk-2021/

For more information on The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre https://www.beatson.scot.nhs.uk/

For walking route suggestions – www.glasgow.gov.uk/heritagetrails

*Beatson Cancer Charity – About Us

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