A woman who lost her daughter and father to cancer is embarking on a Burma trek for charity.
Nikki Strachan-Gordon, has spent three years fundraising overseas to raise vital funds for Marie Curie, with her final challenge set for May 2018.
The 49-year-old sadly lost her father to sarcoma cancer five years ago.
A short time later her daughter, Samantha Jane McKenzie passed away following a nine-year battle with Ewing’s sarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer – aged just 28.
Nikki, from Laurencekirk, said this motivated her to help the Marie Curie nurses, who offered her and her family support during an incredibly difficult time and has so far raised about £7,000.
She said: “My loss provided a catalyst to raise funds for Marie Curie.
“They provide a comfort to so many people.”
In 2014, care assistant Nikki joined 40 other volunteers on her first trek with Marie Curie, when she spent five days in the Sahara Desert trekking across sand dunes.
Not satisfied with this great feat, Nikki continued to astound friends and family by travelling to Vietnam in 2016 with 18 other volunteers.
While there she took on a 120-mile trek along the Ho Chi Minh railway track and through paddy fields, when they averaged around 20 to 25km each day.
Nikki now hopes to wind up her years of fundraising for the charity with a bang, setting herself a target of more than £3,700 in sponsorship for her trip to Burma – which is also known as Myanmar.
She said: “I have made friends for life on the Marie Curie treks but it’s definitely my last one.
“I turn 50 this year and the treks are very challenging – they really take it out of you.
“But I’d like to think that I’ve made my father and daughter proud.”
With more than £2,000 left to raise before setting out on her final trip, Nikki has planned several charity events.
There will be a fundraising night in The Ashvale restaurant in Aberdeen on Saturday, April 29, with high-value raffle prizes on offer.
Nikki will also be selling handmade items at the Fettercairn craft show.
Carolyn Snedden Marie Curie fundraising manager said: “We’re so grateful for Nikki’s support and wish her all the best with her next challenge.
“It’s thanks to supporters like Nikki that last year in NHS Grampian our nursing team made more than 5,000 visits to 1,350 terminally-ill patients at home and 44 families were supported by our helper volunteers.”
Nikki’s fundraising page can be found at http://bit.ly/2p8dewv