Along with husband Paul, son Connor, 17, and daughter Rebekah, 8 – as well as a mighty gang of pals – she’s taking part in the Glasgow Kiltwalk to raise funds for the hospice that gave her son Aidan so much.
The family first came into contact with Robin House after Aidan was diagnosed with late infantile Batten’s disease in 2007 at the age of five.
At first Claire and Paul, from Erskine, were reluctant to take their little boy to a hospice, but after he became seriously ill in 2008 they were convinced to give it a try.
“I suppose we were too scared to go,” explains Claire. “We didn’t know what to expect.
“But in that first year Aidan lost everything – his eyesight, his ability to walk, talk and eat.
“Then in October 2008 he took seriously ill and was rushed to hospital. Our doctor told us it wasn’t looking good and said maybe it was time to go to the hospice. So we did.”
In common with many parents who go to Robin House, their preconceptions were to be proved very wrong.
“From the minute we walked through the door it was nothing like we expected,” recalls Claire.
“It was so bright and all the staff were so friendly. It was as if there had been a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.
Other families were going through what we had been through.”
Against all expectations, Aidan pulled through, and his grateful family had four more precious years with him.
During that time Robin House was a rock for them.
“We were back and forward, and must have been told six times ‘This is it’,” says Claire. “But he battled back every time.
“Robin House allowed us to do things as a family we wouldn’t have been able to. We could make amazing memories. We thought we were going to a sad, dark place where people go to die, but it was the opposite.”
In 2012, Aidan’s health started to deteriorate. Claire and Paul managed to get him to Robin House, where he passed away on a Friday night, aged just 10.
“Robin House were with us every step of the way,” says Claire. And they still are.
“Even though Aidan isn’t here I know I can pick the phone and they’re still there.”
It’s no surprise that Aidan’s family are incredibly motivated when it comes to raising funds to support Robin House.
For the past five years they’ve been taking part in Kiltwalk – and roping in as many of their friends and family as possible.
“In 2013 we had 18 with us,” says Claire. “But the following year Team Aidan had 60 in it!”
This year there will be 34 of the gang taking part, and there’s healthy competition to see who can finish first – especially between Paul and Connor.
And of course, one person is with them every step of the way, in their hearts and minds.
“We have Team Aidan t-shirts,” says Claire. “So you always see that cheeky wee smile.
“And if I’m struggling to carry on the walk, I just think ‘you know what, he went through so much more than this’ and I finish it.”
IF you’re inspired to walk for Robin House, we’ve just been given a batch of special last-minute FREE places available for the Glasgow Kiltwalk.
CHAS has pre-purchased 75 slots for the event, which takes place this Sunday – April 24.
If you want to take part to raise money for Oor Hoose, you can use one of their free entry codes.
Simply go to the registration page at www.thekiltwalk.co.uk select the Glasgow event and pick your walk – you can choose 26 miles, 14 miles or a Wee Wander at just six miles.
Then enter the PIN code – CHAS2016 – in the registration form.
Please register as soon as possible as the code expires at 9am on Wednesday April 20.
Oor Hoose: How to donate
ROBIN HOUSE is 10 years old – and CHAS is about to embark on a major programme to bring the hospice bang up to date.
We want to raise as much as possible – with your help.
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to give, so there are several ways to donate. And please use Gift Aid if you can.
TEXT: Text CHAS10, leave a space then enter the amount you want to give (eg CHAS10 £10) to 70070. It is important you include a £ sign
CHEQUE: Send cheques payable to Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) to: Oor Hoose, CHAS 10, 2nd Floor, Buchanan Tower, Cumbernauld Road, Stepps, G33 6HZ.