Falkirk four-year-old ran ‘marathon’ for stroke survivor Papa-G

Rae with Papa-G Billy, at yesterday's marathon festival.
Rae with Papa-G Billy, at yesterday's marathon festival.

Four year old Falkirk girl Rae Blair has already raised £1,220 for charity - and her family aim to keep earning more until stroke victim “Papa-G” Billy come homes.

Rae, along with her mum and gran, are taking on fundraising challenges as a way of thanking Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland for the support they provide to survivors like Billy.

He suffered a life changing stroke in December, and since then he has been under the care of NHS Scotland at both the Royal Infirmary and Astley Ainsle rehabilitation unit.

His left side was massively affected by the stroke, and he has lost the ability to walk and use his left arm - changing every aspect of his daily life.

Rae ran the Kids Kilometre at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival yesterday to get the fundraising ball rolling, and was delighted to be cheered on by Billy (76) - who was able to get to join the family in his wheelchair.

Claire (Billy’s grandaughter) and Maureen (Billy’s daughter), are taking on The Beast event at Loch Ness in August, along with their partners, “to challenge ourselves both physically and mentally across the muddy obstacles and tough terrain”.

Billy said: “I am so proud of Rae.

“Being able to get along and see her run her race today has been fantastic.

“It has really lifted my spirit. Rae is just so full of life and that has been a huge motivator for me.

“It has been really hard being in the hospital for so long and only being able to see the family at visiting times. I can’t wait for the day that I can move back home, back to my wife and the whole family.

“I am slowly seeing improvements, and when I look back to how I was when I first got to the hospital I know I have come a long way.

”Having the support of the family around me has definitely helped. They have all been amazing. I can’t wait to get back home and be able to see my grandkids more often again.”

Claire Blair, Rae’s mum, said: “Rae was absolutely over the moon that her Papa-G could make it to her ‘marathon’ today.

“I know it meant a lot to my Papa being able to get out of the hospital and see her today as well.

“Moments like this are just so special now; we can’t wait till he is home for good. We all miss him so much.”

Rae said: “My race was really fun! I ran really fast to Papa-G. I want him to come back home. I miss him so much!”

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, said: “It is so inspiring to see Rae’s whole family, right across four generations, coming together and doing what they can to support their Papa-G.

“We are here to help people rebuild their lives after stroke”.

For more information about the family’s fundraising efforts visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/billyswarriors