A series of fundraising events are taking place in aid of Highland Hospice in honour of a Melanoma researcher who died after a battle with the illness.
Dr Sharon Hutchison died in December, aged 39, just one year after being diagnosed with Melanoma – the disease she spent her career trying to cure.
Originally from Stirling, she had been living in Inverness and working as a researcher at the University of Highlands and Islands division of biomedical sciences.
Melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body, is increasing in the UK.
Around 42 people are diagnosed each day from the cancer, with an average of seven people dying.
In an effort to raise awareness of Melanoma and funds for the Highland Hospice, where Sharon was cared for in her final weeks, her friend Louise Harper will take Sharon’s place on Etape Loch Ness in April, alongside Sharon’s friend and colleague Antonia Pritchard, senior lecturer of genetics and immunology.
Louise will also be taking part in the Ride London 100 in August, before taking on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September 2020.
A fundraising event and raffle have also been organised for February 29 at Sharon’s gym, 57North, on Carsegate Road, Inverness.
The event has captured the hearts of local businesses, with a large number donating fantastic prizes.
Louise Harper said: “Sharon’s true strength and determination showed throughout her illness, still working and continuing to research the disease which she was sadly suffering from.
“In memory of my wonderful friend, I wanted to take on these challenges.
“I am doing so in an effort to raise awareness of Melanoma and to raise money for the Highland Hospice.
“It is difficult to put into words what the Hospice provides. The care, respect, compassion and support provided to not only Sharon, but her family and close friends was indescribable.
“The Highland Hospice is the only provider of specialist palliative care in the Highlands and needs funds of over £7,000 a day to cover costs of the services which they provide.”
She added: “I have set up a JustGiving page in a bid to raise £4,000 and we are selling raffle tickets with prizes kindly donated by local businesses.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported, donated or bought tickets. I’m hopeful that we can reach our target while honouring such an intelligent and beautiful person, inside and out, who has left a void in the lives of all who knew her.”
Tickets for the raffle can be purchased for £2 a ticket or £10 a strip by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The raffle will be drawn at 57North, Carsegate Road, Inverness, on 29th February 2020.
Donations can also be made via JustGiving at https://www.justgiving.com/Louise-Harper-DoingitforSharon