A charity walk in memory of a young lawyer based in Kirkintilloch has helped raise more than £2,000 to help victims of Crohn’s disease.
Billy Gallacher, who founded Gallacher & Co at Cowgate in the town, passed away 20 years ago from Crohn’s complicated by bowel cancer, aged 33.
His widow Liz walked 20 miles in his memory from Loch Lomond to Glasgow, accompanied by three friends.
The sponsored trek was to collect funds for a therapeutic vaccine aimed at treating the serious inflammatory bowel disease as well as preventing it.
So far, her justgiving page has collected £2,215 – almost triple her £800 target.
Liz said: “People have been incredibly generous. Crohn’s disease is often overlooked and the number of people suffering is rising rapidly.
“Scotland now has one of the highest incidences in the world. One in 200 people – mainly young people and children – are affected.
“Toxic mainstream medications only suppress the symptoms of the disease and often do more harm than good.
“People with Crohn’s also have a high risk of developing bowel cancer.”
The Crohn’s MAP vaccine has been manufactured at top research university King’s College in London.
So far, £188,000 has been raised of the £470,000 needed to get the vaccine from the lab to human clinical trials.
The Crohn’s MAP charity team is made up entirely of volunteers who suffer from the disease or have family members who are victims.
Professor John Hermon-Taylor, who has studied Crohn’s disease for the past 30 years, has developed the MAP vaccine.
He believes people susceptible to the bug Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) prevalent in cattle, go on to develop the disease.
Liz said: “It’s so important to raise the cash to get the vaccine to clinical trials. I believe it offers real hope of a cure.”
She added: “November‘s not the best time to do a 20-mile walk in Scotland but we were incredibly lucky with the weather!”
Donate to Liz’s funds at https://www.justgiving.com/Elizabeth-Gallacher1MEN9150