Family’s Walk of Hope in tribute to loving husband and father, who died from a brain tumour

A devoted family is stepping out for a Walk of Hope to raise money to help find a cure for the disease which killed their loving husband and father.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:33 am
Andrew, with his daughters Sarah and Laura on holiday in Florida

The family of Andrew Mackie who died from a brain tumour, in February 2003, at 44, has drawn up an eight-mile return walk along the old railway line from Dinnet, where Andrew was from, to Cambus o’May which is where his wife, Moira, 56, grew up.

The walk on September 25, is one of many similar events taking place for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Andrew’s daughters Sarah Mackie, 32, and Laura McAvoy, 35, will be walking with their mother Moira.

Andrew and his wife Moira

Sarah said: “It will be an emotional day, but in a good way, to try and help spread the word for Brain Tumour Research as much as we can. We want to do it for Dad and other people that are going through the exact same thing we went through.

“My dad was amazing, a good guy who would do anything for his family and friends. He was hardworking, happy-go-lucky and really laid back. He started having seizures in August 1999. He did go to the GP and for a while he thought it could be epilepsy, The mass was eventually found as he had a scan because his eyesight was deteriorating.

“In February 2000 he was sent to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a biopsy which revealed he had a grade 4 (high-grade) astrocytoma brain tumour.

“He had radiotherapy for six weeks and that did help him for about a year but then he started to deteriorate again. He went for another scan, which revealed the tumour was growing.”

In January 2002 Andrew underwent surgery but it was too risky to remove the whole tumour. After a year Andrew’s condition deteriorated further so he was given palliative chemotherapy.

Andrew spent three weeks in Roxburghe House Hospice in Aberdeen while his family prepared their home for his arrival.

Sarah continued: “It was great to have him home. It was horrible when he wasn't there because it just felt weird Dad not being there in the morning before I went to school and when I came home. Mum, my sister and I were over the moon and so was my dad because he wanted to be at home with us and we didn't want it any other way either.

“When we first got him home from Roxburghe he was actually quite good but after the first week he started to deteriorate quickly.

"Just before he passed, I don't think he remembered who half of us were which was really upsetting. Watching someone you love go through that is just awful.

“It’s ridiculous that the government just gives 1% of the budget to brain tumour research because all cancers are bad.

“I am really hoping that the Government sees that they need to try and divide that money up a bit better.”

Joe Woollcott, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We were so sorry to learn about Andrew’s death which was caused by a brain tumour. We are incredibly grateful to Sarah, Laura and Moira for their support; not only for their fantastic fundraising but for helping to raise awareness of this awful disease.”