A Moray schoolboy is aiming to complete an 82-mile walk to fund research into the severe medical condition which has struck him down.
Gavin Mackay, 12, suffers from Crohn’s Disease, which causes chronic inflammation of the bowel.
However, the battling youngster is now planning to trek the whole of the East Highland Way from Aviemore to Fort William in just a week.
Alongside Gavin, from Mosstodloch, on his brave adventure will be his dad, Stewart, and best friend James Leslie, 13, from Fochabers, who will also be camping out along the way.
The pair of Milnes High pupils originally hoped to raise £1,000 to divide between research into Crohn’s and the ARCHIE Foundation.
However, their dedicated fundraising efforts have already raised well in excess of £3,000.
Gavin, who was off school for three months following a major operation to remove part of his bowel in November, said: “There’s no cure for Crohn’s at the moment.
“I just feel that other people shouldn’t have to go through what I have gone through. It doesn’t seem right.
“As for the Archie Foundation, they were just incredible when I had my operation.
“They provided my parents with somewhere to stay when I was in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary – I find it hard to put into words how much help they gave us.”
Gavin was first diagnosed in 2011, although it’s thought he could have been suffering from Crohn’s for several years before.
Although a recent bout of ill-health has led to an increase in the daily amount of steroids he has to take, he remains defiant that he will set off as planned on Saturday, July 5.
He said: “I will be fine for the walk – I’m determined to be fine.”
The two lads will be collecting funds today at Maggie’s Fair in Garmouth and at Inchberry car boot sale tomorrow.
Alternatively, you can lend your support by going to the justgiving.com website, then typing in “gavin and james long walk”.