A GALASHIELS man will be donning a tartan bra and running 96 miles in three days to raise money for his sister’s cancer treatment.

Tomorrow, Alan Blacklaws will begin his challenge – which is the equivalent of running more than three marathons in three days – along the West Highland Way.

But rather than putting his feet up after the gruelling run, the 38-year-old then plans complete his challenge by climbing Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which towers above Fort William at 4,412 feet.

Alan’s sister, mum-of-two Julie Strelley-Jones, who is 45, was diagnosed with incurable inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in 2012 – a rare and aggressive form of the disease not usually identified by a lump in the breast. 

The siblings attended Burgh Primary School and Galashiels Academy before leaving the Borders for university in Edinburgh – where Alan now works as a Civil Engineer – and have always been close.

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By wearing a tartan bra throughout the challenge, father-of-one Alan hopes to raise some eyebrows and some smiles – but also awareness of this rare type of cancer and money for a cause extremely close to his heart.

So far, he has raised an incredible £5,715 of his £5,000 goal.

“I don’t think Julie ever imagined she’d have to fundraise for treatment,” he explained.

“She has been living with IBC since 2012. Following intense treatment she was found to have secondary breast cancer in 2014 and the disease had spread to her liver, lungs, bones and brain.

“Julie has now undergone nearly 40 cycles of a targeted chemo drug from the Cancer Drugs Fund and two targeted radiotherapy blasts on her brain. 

“Her body is starting to struggle with the ongoing treatment and so we are now raising funds for treatments unavailable on the NHS, in the UK and abroad. 

“The funds will also be used to help pay for therapies that can support and strengthen Julie’s immune system, all with the ultimate goal of providing precious time with her family and friends.”

He added: “I am incredibly proud of my sister as she has continued to battle this disease with inspirational courage and strength.”

Alan began training in February and has put in around 60 hours and over 400 miles in preparation for this weekend’s fundraiser.

He chose the West Highland Way as the setting for his challenge because it’s something he has always wanted to try and complete.

He admits it’ll be tough but said he is willing to do whatever he can to help his sister.

For Julie, a former teacher, Alan’s fundraiser means the world.

She said: “I am extremely proud of my brother and it means everything to me that he is carrying out this huge challenge.

"Thank you so much to Alan, his support team and to all those who have donated.”

Alan will be spurred on during the challenge by friends and is keen for any well-wishers to join him as he makes his way from Milngavie to Fort William. 

And his family, including his wife Lynne and young daughter Lucy will be there to congratulate him at the finish line.

To donate, you can visit https://www.gofundme.com/24ed2hfb