MUM-of-three Sharon Grant celebrated her big 40 by raising an incredible £9,000 plus for charity with her family and friends ... for a very special pal.
The primary school teacher gathered together 21 people and spent her birthday week walking the West Highland Way.
She and the group raised a fantastic £9,300 for the charity LAM Action which has supported her good friend Audrey Ferguson, who suffers from the rare, incurable lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis – known as LAM.
The condition, which causes the lungs to waste away, affects only women and there’s believed to be just 120 LAM patients in the UK.
Audrey had a lung transplant last year and is doing well, so her friends decided to get together and raise as much as they could for LAM Action, which has supported her throughout her diagnosis and treatment.
Sharon, who is a supply teacher for Renfrewshire Council, said: “I reached 40 and wanted to mark it by doing something challenging.
“I have always wanted to walk the West Highland Way as my husband Stephen does it every year and I’ve promised to join him several times.
“Audrey had a lung transplant last November, so she was on our minds and we decided to combine the two.
“I’ve known Audrey since we went to the same church together as children and have kept in touch with her.”
Sharon, from Bridge of Weir, added: “Our oldest walker was 64 and he was the fittest. The youngest was 23. I thought I’d prepared by going to the gym, but I struggled. It was hard work.
“Audrey met us halfway through, which kept us going, and we’d raised so much money we couldn’t stop.
“We walked for five days and finished on my birthday.
“At first I was happy to raise £1,000 but then we kept going. Now I wish we’d got to £10,000 but I’m delighted to have raised as much as we did.”
She added: “It’s a charity quite close to our hearts. Audrey is such a good friend and she went through a very difficult time.
“The disease is incurable, so the only way to stave off the symptoms is to get a lung transplant. She was diagnosed about 10 years ago and doctors gave her 10 years to live, so the transplant came just in time.
“LAM Action is not as well known as some other charities so they’ll be grateful for the money.”