A SOUTHAMPTON teenager is nearing the end of an epic running challenge in name of his grandfather who is suffering from throat cancer.
Hamish MacAulay is running 100 miles over four weeks for West End resident and lifelong Saints fan Roger Bailey.
The 19-year-old from Hedge End is raising funds for Cancer Research UK after cancer “robbed his grandfather of a voice that so often lights up a room”.
Hamish said: “It was incredibly difficult when my grandfather was diagnosed with throat cancer last year in November.
“I think it was really hard because he has been in my life forever, and the idea that suddenly something challenges me is always too big to grasp.
“When I saw him after the first round of radiotherapy, it was challenging.
“He turned from being somebody who would light up a room with jokes, charm, and stories to someone who was diminishing and grey.
“But seeing that he is still putting up a fight shows that he’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever met and could ever hope to meet.”
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Roger Bailey (left) with Hamish MacAulay (Image: Hamish MacAulay)
Roger has lived in West End all his life.
The 77-year-old used to take his grandson to St Mary’s Stadium and also inspired him to take up drama at Birmingham University.
Hamish added: “I’ve always been passionate about acting.
“My granddad was also an expert.
“He did a lot of acting when he was younger at local community theatres.
“He’s always helped foster that passion.”
Hamish has thanked everyone who supported his fundraiser.
He said: “The money, love, and support from friends, family, and the public have just been unbelievable.
“It’s incredibly powerful to know that there are so many people with so many kind words and so much love and space in their hearts for somebody they’ve never met and will probably never meet.
“It’s the fact that it transcends anything that I thought was possible when I first set out to do it.
“It’s still quite hard to actually fathom.”
So far, Hamish has raised £1,060 and will be taking on his last five-mile run on Saturday, May 27, finishing at the Southampton Arms in West End where he will meet his grandad.
On his grandson’s efforts, Roger said: “We are so proud of you and the huge undertaking that you have made.
“You are making a big difference; keep going.”