Teacher going the extra mile

From left to right: Louise Williams, Debbie Gibson, Erin Gibson Shelagh, Reid and the 2 children in the buggy are Alexa and Poppy Williams.
From left to right: Louise Williams, Debbie Gibson, Erin Gibson Shelagh, Reid and the 2 children in the buggy are Alexa and Poppy Williams.

A Deeside music teacher who survived stomach cancer is inviting people across the North-east to get on their bikes for a leading cancer charity as a way of saying thank you for all the care and support she received during her illness.

Shelagh Reid, 53, a violin teacher from Drumoak, was diagnosed with the illness in 2009, and had surgery to remove her entire stomach – a total gastronomy – the following year. She has now organised a sponsored 46-mile cycle in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The event will take place on Saturday August 18, from Braemar to Drumoak, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 3.30pm. There will also be a shorter race of seven miles from Banchory to Drumoak, starting at 3pm.

“When I was ill, I received so much support from family, friends, colleagues at St Margaret’s and Macmillan nurses and consultant,” said Shelagh, who has taught at the school for 16 years.

“I was very fortunate to get so much support, and I just want to give something back now. Macmillan nurses are obviously well known, but there are so many other ways that Macmillan helps people suffering from cancer and their families – from call centres with highly trained support, to on-line chat rooms, financial advice and so much more.

“I decided to organise a sponsored cycle because I feel that Macmillan went the extra mile for me and now I want to go the extra mile for them.”

Shelagh, who was used to climbing Munros, hill-walking and cycling before her illness, has had to start from scratch to build up her fitness levels again. Her diet is now to eat “little and often” and she had to cut out fizzy drinks.

She said: “I have always been into outdoor sports. I am now cancer-free and feeling fantastic, though I am having to work hard at getting fit again. I am currently up to 20 miles in training.

“This bike ride is something which will challenge and stretch me but I believe I can do it. I am really looking forward to it but unfortunately I can’t have a glass of champagne at the end!”

For further information about joining the sponsored cycle, contact Shelagh on 07977 134057. Shelagh also has a JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/Shelagh-Reid