Two Milne’s High School teenagers are celebrating after smashing their target for a challenging 82 mile walk.
Friends Gavin Mackay and James Leslie, both aged 13, completed the East Highland Way from Aviemore to Fort William in July.
Gavin suffers from Chron’s Disease, which causes chronic inflammation of the bowel. He was diagnosed in 2012 which resulted in regular visits to the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
The Fochabers both thought that it was fitting to raise money into Crohn’s research and the ARCHIE Foundation.
Initially they set out to raise £1000 and thought that would be a hard target to reach but their dedicated fundraising has got them to the target of £9000.
Gavin, who had to have his bowel removed last November and spent three months off school, said that he was amazed to have raised so much: “Knowing we have helped people has definitely made a difference. We carried everything on our backs and camped out. The midges were really bad.”
Gavin and James were joined on the expedition by their fathers, Stewart Mackay and Roger Leslie, who camped in their own tent near the boys each night.
They all sang songs on their journey and even belted out their own version of The Proclaimers hit I’m Gonna Be (500 miles).
Mr Mackay said: “We are massively proud of them both. Gavin had previously walked the Speyside way for Cancer Research and felt that the East Highland Way was the natural progression.”
He added: “Gavin wanted to give something back as the ARCHIE Foundation were really good when he was in hospital. They would provide occasional entertainment for what would have been an otherwise boring visit and the parents suite meant that we could stay through there.”