Christine McLaughlin knows how important money is when it comes to health.
As Chief Finance Officer for NHS Scotland in the Scottish Government, she is just one of the amazing women shaping the future and making a difference.
And as well as managing the budget for Health and Sport in Scotland, Christine is taking on The MoonWalk Scotland to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Talking about her own diagnosis, Christine says: “I was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer in October 2018.
“I’d felt a very obvious lump in my breast and assumed it was a cyst. I’d been really healthy up until that point and had no history of breast cancer in my immediate family.
“Having said that, I had a very strong awareness of breast cancer and I also have a twin sister whose work is in developing oncology drugs, but it still wasn’t really in my mind that the lump would be cancer and I was convinced it was nothing to worry about.
“As it turned out, I had six rounds of chemotherapy over 18 weeks before having a lumpectomy, and I’ve been having radiotherapy.
“Thankfully my cancer was caught early and there was a 75% reduction in the tumour from the chemotherapy, so the outcome so far is positive.
“In my job, one of my many responsibilities is managing the capital budget for the NHS, which includes the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh – which is where I had my surgery in March and then my radiotherapy, although I’ve had most of the rest of my treatment at St John’s Hospital in Livingston which is close to where I live.
“A couple of months ago, I was sitting in the Breast Cancer Unit at the Western General and I saw a sign on the wall celebrating the grants which Walk The Walk has made.
“I’d already signed up for The MoonWalk Scotland at that point but I hadn’t told everyone I was taking part, or about my breast cancer.
“Having seen that sign and the positive impact of the grant first hand, it gave me the courage to be more public about my own diagnosis and I decided to Tweet about my fundraising.
“Through doing events like The MoonWalk and raising money, my goal is that everyone should be able to get all the help and support they need at whatever stage in their own cancer journey.”
One of the great things about The MoonWalk is that you can walk as far as you want, from a New Moon (quarter marathon, six and a half miles) up to Over The Moon which is a double marathon distance.
That’s what Lucy Machen’s signed up for, as she says: “I joined WW – formerly Weight Watchers – in the summer of 2018.
“By last November I’d reached my goal and now I’ve lost over four stone! WW was a really good programme, which encouraged not only healthy eating but focused on doing more exercise.
“I want to keep the weight off and signing up for the 52.4 mile double marathon Over The Moon at The MoonWalk Scotland is very much part of that goal.
“It’s given me another fitness target to get stuck into! I’ve also signed up to walk the Full Moon (26.2 miles) at The MoonWalk London in May, basically as training for the double marathon in June.
“My friend who now lives in Cornwall will be joining me at The MoonWalk London but I’ll be doing The MoonWalk Scotland on my own.
“I’m not a stranger to long-distance ‘ultra’ walks. Several years ago, when I was at university and before I put on weight, I completed the London to Brighton challenge.
“So I’ve done the distance before – but the 14-hour time limit for Over The Moon is the really difficult thing.
“I’m excited and nervous about the challenge all at the same time!
“I’ve volunteered twice previously at The MoonWalk Scotland as a marshal on the route and know that the atmosphere at the event is absolutely amazing.
“I’m also inspired by my nan, who had breast cancer a number of years ago and had one of her breasts removed.
“She’s now nearly 80 and very active, she plays darts and is out every night!
“The fact that I will be 30 at the end of this year is also an incentive for signing up.
“I used to work for a youth cancer charity and so have seen some of the places and met some of the people who benefit from Walk The Walk funding.
“This makes me want to help, too, in some small way.
“I’ve been to the Maggie’s Centre which Walk The Walk funded in Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow and also to the Maggie’s Centre at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.
“Going to both centres really helped me understand where the money we raise goes – and what a huge difference it makes to so many people.”
You can sign up for The MoonWalk Scotland on Saturday June 8 and power walk through the streets of Edinburgh at midnight wearing a decorated bra at www.walkthewalk.org