Seonaid Hutcheon finished the West Highland Way on Thursday as planned, exactly three years since her son died from cancer.
Since Alex, who was described as “a true hero” by his loved ones, died in 2019 his family has been raising money for cancer charities to keep his memory alive.
Mrs Hutcheon explained how her son pushed her to keep moving forward in his final days.
“You just have to push yourself every day to get up,” she said.
“Alex said to me ‘Mum, I don’t want you in a heap on the floor after I’m gone.’, those were some of his last words.
“I said ‘Well, I will be on the floor, but I’ll try.’”
With this as motivation, she and two friends Linda Neish and Jill Skea walked the West Highland Way in a week to raise money for Friends of Anchor.
‘No one more involved’
Friends of Anchor supported the Hutcheon family from Cullen throughout Alex’s treatment until he died at the age of just 22.
He took part in Brave, a catwalk show organised by the charity, and Mrs Hutcheon said some of the models who walked alongside him still keep in touch to this day and “inspire [them] to go on”.
Remembering her son’s initial reaction to taking part, Mrs Hutcheon said: “When Friends of Anchor asked him to be a model, he originally said ‘That won’t be happening.’ But one day he was quite ill and they asked him again, then there was no one more involved.”
The money raised by the West Highland Way walk will go towards the charity’s new Anchor Centre being built in Aberdeen.
Alex would be ‘gobsmacked’
Alex was more sporty than his mum and dad, Sandy. Mrs Hutcheon believes he would have been “gobsmacked” to know she had completed the walk.
She herself was too, saying: “I never thought I’d have done something like the West Highland Way, but I did it.”
Though the group battled wind and rain, the comradery of those they met and the worthy cause kept them ploughing on.
“We met amazing people, everyone’s got a different story, people raising money for different charities,” said Mrs Hutcheon
“There were challenges every day, whether it was the terrain or the weather, mainly the weather, but it was worthwhile.”
You can donate to the West Highland Way fundraiser for Friends of Anchor HERE.