Cancer patient clocks up the miles to support anniversary fundraising campaign

A cancer patient has been inspired to make a 250-mile round trip to the north-east in support of a cancer charity’s 20th anniversary fundraising campaign.

Erik Langskaill, from Edinburgh, heard about Friends of Anchor’s 20 for 20 campaign through his wife Alison, who is a friend of artist Lorna Jappy, who painted one of 20 anchors currently on display in towns and communities across the region.

Mr Langskaill, who was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia four years ago, was delighted to clock up 11 of the 20 anchors in one day, starting with Lorna’s statue, entitled Ginger Prince, which is on show at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh.

He said: “After spending so much time in hospital recently, I was delighted with the idea of travelling up to Aberdeenshire to see our friend’s anchor that was dedicated to her husband Chris, who like me is fighting a cancer diagnosis, so we are acutely aware of just how important the work of charities like Friends of Anchor is.

“I found the stories behind each of the anchors incredibly inspiring.

“When you are diagnosed you feel there isn’t much you can personally do to help take on the massive beast that is cancer.

“The fact that Friends of Anchor has put on this voyage as a tribute to patients and their families to celebrate the 20 years the charity has been running as well as to raise valued funds and awareness for the cause is tremendous.

“Although we’re not local to Aberdeen, it’s something everyone can feel a part of and contribute in our own small way to help make a lasting impact on cancer care and all-important research.”

The anchors will remain on show until the end of October, when they will be auctioned off to raise cash for the charity – which has already pledged to give £1million to Aberdeen University’s ambitious £4.5million bid to attract and recruit a world-class cancer research team to the north of Scotland.

Friends of Anchor’s chairman, James Milne, said: “When I hear Erik’s story I was amazed to learn that the campaign has stretched beyond the north-east.

“Just as our Dream Big campaign will impact those far beyond the region through the cancer research work that will be carried out, it’s great to know this public celebration and fundraiser for Friends of Anchor is reaching further afield.”