A GALASHIELS man who ran 96 miles across Scotland in a tartan bra has raised £12,000 for his sister’s cancer treatment.

Alan Blacklaws, 38, began his gruelling challenge, running three marathons across three days, along the West Highland Way.

But the endurance test didn’t end there –- on day four, Alan topped off his task by climbing Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, close to the town of Fort William.

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

Alan took on the mammoth task of fundraising for his sister, to help pay for therapies and support that can strengthen Julie’s immune system – with the ultimate goal in helping to provide more precious time with her family and friends.

Alan said: “I’m delighted to have raised some much needed money for my sister, and hopefully made people aware of inflammatory breast cancer. 

Upon completing the challenge, Alan was met by his mum and dad, who travelled up to congratulate him, and buy him a well deserved drink.

Alan added: “My overwhelming thought throughout was of Julie, her husband Mark and their two boys. I was in quite a lot of pain at times but kept on telling myself this is nothing in comparison to what Julie has had to endure through her battle with cancer.

“My work colleagues have been incredibly supportive. They’ve organised a cake sale to help boost the fundraising. My company has offices all over the UK, and I’ve received donations and messages of support from people I’ve never even met before.”

The hard work has definitely paid off – with Alan smashing his initial target of £5,000 and raising double that amount. So far the total stands at £12,205.

Alan’s sister, Julie Strelley-Jones, 45, said: “The support has been unbelievable. Members of my family met the ‘Man In The Bra’ team at the end of day three in Fort William. My mum and dad, my cousin and her partner and my old flat mate. Another cousin and her husband surprised Alan on his last day and joined him on the climb of Ben Nevis. This meant so much as I had to return to my home in London for chemo so was unable to be there. 

“So many friends, family, neighbours and friends of friends have got behind the boys and showed their support for them on our Man in a Bra Facebook page on which weSally and myself posted updates, shared photos and videos. We even encouraged the boys with James Corden style singalongs.

Our posts reached over 18,000 people which was amazing. I was so touched by the many donations and messages that came from old school and family friends in Galashiels that I had not been in touch with for a long time.”

Now the challenge is over, the next step is to continue fundraising for Julie’s treatment. To go abroad and seek further support there, £50,000 is needed to start the treatment, with a further £200,000 required to continue it.

Julie added: “My mum’s old colleagues are holding a cake stall at the Borders General Hospital on Sunday, October 9.”

"Plus I’ve got friends across the UK holding events; one in Wales is holding afternoon tea with friends, one in Orkney is holding a Wine evening, plus we are holding a quiz evening in London.”

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