Forth Valley firefighters’ 40-mile walk for colleague’s child who has leukaemia

Firefighters from Bo’ness captured the spirit of Toy Story when they completed a gruelling 24 hours challenge.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 7:25 am
Andi Galloway and his three-year-old son, Archie. Andi is  Station Commander for Larbert, Denny and Slamannan with Scottish Fire & rescue Service. His little boy was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
Andi Galloway and his three-year-old son, Archie. Andi is Station Commander for Larbert, Denny and Slamannan with Scottish Fire & rescue Service. His little boy was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy.

Echoing the film’s theme song, “You’ve got a friend in me”, they conquered over 40 miles of tough terrain for their friend and former colleague, Andi Galloway and his three-year-old son, Archie.

Andi is now Station Commander for Larbert, Denny and Slamannan.

His little boy was diagnosed with leukaemia in March.

Chris Bates and Woody on a gruelling 240hour fundraising walk for Scottish Fire & Rescue Service colleague Andi Galloway and his three-year-old son, Archie who has leukaemia.

Andi and his wife Lisa, who live in Bathgate, have received much support from Andi’s former watch which has been a constant help during this difficult time.

A team of four firefighters who all work for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, have completed the Lake District 24 peaks in 24 hours.

They are Ross Maxwell, Chris Bates, Martin McCaig, and David Young. Martin Chapman was also instrumental in the planning but was unfortunately unable to take part in the challenge.

In 16.5 hours they covered over 40 miles walking, climbing and descending, and nearly reaching 100,000 steps.

Ross said: “We wanted to do something different and challenge ourselves mentally and physically.”

The group also took Archie’s toy, Woody, on the trek, and kept him updated with photos from his adventures. Chris also wore a Woody costume.

Ross said: “Chris is good friends with Andi and dressed as Woody at various stages. I don’t believe the costume made it back in one piece!”

Apart from tough terrain, there was appalling weather.

Ross said: “Saturday was horrific. We were soaked through. The rain and wind was constant and visibility almost non-existent, thankfully the rain stopped on Sunday.

“It was a great experience, a very difficult one, and a great sense of achievement.”

They set themselves a fundraising target of £500, but, so far, they have raised over £4000, with the aim of giving Andi and his family a lifetime trip.

Ross said: “We wanted to create a shining light at the end of the tunnel for Archie, his little sister Leah, Andi and Lisa to give them something to look forward to once their difficult time was at an end.”

Andi said: “They are a great bunch of guys. They’ve always been there for me. Saying thanks just isn’t enough.”

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