Fundrais­ing

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID MCPHEE dm­cphee@oban­times.co.uk

TWO PAR­ENTS from Oban have given up their jobs to raise money for pri­vate med­i­cal treat­ment for their son, who has mul­ti­ple sclero­sis.

TWO par­ents from Oban have given up their jobs to raise money for a pri­vate med­i­cal treat­ment for their son, who was di­ag­nosed with mul­ti­ple sclero­sis at the age of 16.

John and He­len Forteith have so far helped to raise £ 5,000 so their son Guy, 24, can un­dergo stem cell ther­apy, which is cur­rently only avail­able pri­vately.

They have es­ti­mated that they will need to raise be­tween £25,000 and £100,000 for the ther­apy.

In or­der to achieve this, they came up with an idea to walk the Rob Roy Way, the West High­land Way and the Great Glen Way. The project is ti­tled ‘3 Ways for Guy’.

So far they have com­pleted the first two, as has their eightyear- old dog, Ben. And the three of them are pre­par­ing to head off on the Great Glen Way on Satur­day July 29.

‘We have both given up our jobs to give that time to our youngest son,’ John Forteith said.

‘[ He] was di­ag­nosed with MS at the age of 16 and he has been in this cy­cle of go­ing nowhere in the med­i­cal world.

‘The past few years, there’s been an ex­plo­sion in stem cell ther­apy, but the UK has not grasped that ex­plo­sion – they are not do­ing it in the UK on the NHS.

‘ We have got to raise the funds to be able to do it. The min­i­mum is go­ing to be £ 25,000, but it’s likely it will be £60,000, and we are po­ten­tially look­ing at £100,000. In the UK it’s about £100,000 to do it pri­vately.

‘We have a lot of money to try to raise and pull to­gether one way or an­other.

‘Guy, be­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­di­vid­ual, started putting on con­certs to raise funds to­wards the cause.

‘So far we have raised just over £5,000.

The hope is we can try to get the treat­ment in early 2018 – with our own funds and a com­bi­na­tion of fundrais­ing.’

Once John, He­len and Ben com­plete the Great Glen Way, they will have walked more than 300 miles.

Dur­ing the West High­land Way, they were joined by four oth­ers – Francesca and Ash­ley Bichard, and Lind­say and Emma Aitken.

Jacque­line Hoey has also helped raise money for Guy, rais­ing £1,000 for the cause by un­der­tak­ing a 81-mile cy­cle.

To do­nate to­ward Guy’s fund, visit https:// www.just­giv­ing. com/crowd­fund­ing/stem­cells­forguy

John and He­len Forteith with Francesca and Ash­ley Bichard, and Lind­say and Emma Aitken, and Ben the dog, do­ing the West High­land Way.

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