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Thousands raised in teen’s memory

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Thousands raised in teen’s memory

A CHARITY trek by two friends has raised £2000 for the region’s children’s ward in memory of a Dumfries teenager.

Hannah Graham and Lauren Galloway tackled the 96.5 miles of The West Highland Way in five days to honour Brooke Jardine, who passed away in October 2019 after a near nine year battle with cancer.

Hannah, 21, from Dumfries, said: “I was Brooke’s personal assistant at school, and a close friend.

“I really wanted to do something in memory of Brooke, because I had a great time working with her and obviously she meant a lot to me as well.”

Brooke was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 at the age of six. In the following years she underwent several operations and chemotherapy, with Hannah supporting her latterly during her schooling.

Hannah and Lauren, from Fife, met at university.

Lauren said: “Hannah obviously told me everything about Brooke – and automatically we felt that this was something that we wanted to do in memory of Brooke.

“It was a mixture of camping and on some days we had to put ourselves up in a wee hostel because the rain was horrific, but we did it in five days in memory of Brooke.”

Smiling as she recalls the undertaking last August, Hannah said: “It was 96-and-a-half miles, and that last half is important because we felt it was the worst half mile.”

Brooke’s mum Kirsty and sister Skye visited Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary (DGRI) recently to see the presentation of the cheque.

Kirsty, who works within the hospital’s pharmacy department, said: “I was honoured that Hannah wanted to do this challenge in the first place.

“Brooke spent a lot of time in the children’s ward and felt very much at home there, so to raise money for other children to come here and have good experiences means a lot.”

A decision has yet to be made on how the monies raised will be used , however Hannah said: “We thought musical instruments for the garden, because Brooke loved her music.”

Deputy charge nurse Gina McKune accepted the money and said: “The kindness is just incredible. We just loved Brooke and her family so much, and I was very fond of Brooke.

“And Brooke would have loved what Hannah and Lauren have done.”

Backing that, Kirsty said: “She’d have been spurring you on.”

“She was the most brave and courageous little girl ever, who just didn’t let her illness define her. She just got on with life.”

And she thanked the intrepid pair for their efforts, adding: “For Hannah and Lauren to even want to do this in the first place is incredible, and we’re so proud of them.”