2018 September

A parent’s perspective

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On 25th January 2016, our beautiful son, Jacob, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. This was detected during an MRI scan that was a follow up to a seizure he had in December 2015.  Jacob had no other signs of illness, so this came as a massive shock to us all. Since diagnosis we have focused only on Jacob and getting him through some very tough hurdles with the amazing support of our family and friends near and far.  He has undergone 16 months of chemotherapy and endured over 18 operations.  Our hearts are bursting with pride as he has been, and still is, nothing short of amazing.  He bounces back from everything thrown at him and continues to make massive strides forward.


Needless to say the last two years have been extremely stressful for all of us, both physically and emotionally. It really has been a rollercoaster.


In May 2017, we read an article in the Scotsman about The Ripple Retreat, a place where young cancer patients and their families can stay for a few days to escape from the stresses and anxieties that treatment brings. My wife Suzanne wrote to Lynne to see if it would be possible for us to stay for a few days as we weren’t sure if we would qualify as we live in Glasgow and the charity is based in Edinburgh so we thought perhaps they only support young people in East Scotland. Lynne wrote back to us explaining that the retreat is for young cancer patients from all over Scotland and she booked us in for five nights.


We were speechless when we arrived; the Ripple Retreat is one of the most beautiful buildings we’ve ever seen set amidst the most stunning of surroundings on Loch Venachar. Lynne met us at the door, showed us around and explained how everything in this super high spec house worked. Suzanne and I both had tears in our eyes as Lynne drove off leaving us with an incredibly excited four year old boy. What to do first?!


Our days at the Ripple Retreat will remain with us forever. For the first time since our nightmare started we were able to distance ourselves from treatment and surgery. Lynne also had support from local business that had provided us with vouchers for meals, activities and the butchers! We were able to recharge our batteries and spend time as a family again and forget about the huge stresses of the last two years. We were able to heal.


Jacob loved the large open-plan living space, playing the drums for the first time, playing outside on the swing and jumping on the musical stepping stones. In the evenings we would look out the lovely windows watching the sun set as Jacob watched Monsters Inc for the 100th time. For Suzanne and myself it was wonderful just to see Jacob enjoying himself and so relaxed. We felt like a normal family again and that was therapy in itself.


We owe Lynne and Ian a huge amount of gratitude. What they have achieved with the Ripple Retreat is nothing short of a miracle and I know that so many other families in a similar situation have also benefited immensely from their stay at the Ripple Retreat.


Thank you Lynne and Ian.

Paul Chapman (Jacob’s Dad).


postscript by Lynne

In past few weeks Paul has taken on a huge fundraising challenge for our charity – four big outdoor swims.  I feel shivery even writing about it.  Ian and I went to see him swim on Saturday past – he swam south to north Queensferry in the River Forth (1.4miles).  The conditions at the start of the swim were quite different to those at the end.  The wind had picked up and the current was much stronger.  Several swimmers had to be rescued by the rescue boats.(Paul wasn’t one of them)  This was Paul’s third swim for us having done 2miles in Loch Lomond and 5.8km the length of Loch Lubnaig  a few weeks back.  His last swim will be to swim  the length of Loch Venachar (5.3km) – The Ripple Retreat’s loch!

If you would like to sponsor Paul you can do so here.  He is definitely one of my heroes.


Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – Susie B’s team

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Hello, my name is Susie Bradley and I am so privileged to be a trustee for It’s Good 2 Give.
I became involved with the charity after they supported my family when our daughter was diagnosed with Leukaemia at 9 years old. I love everything they stand for and after experiencing their support personally, I know what a difference our fundraising can make to families going through the most awful diagnosis and subsequent treatment for a sick child.
That is why I am walking all four Kiltwalks this year, with the most amazing team of friends…Andy Simpson, Lee and Laura Fisher, Gary Sutherland, Lana Schofield and Martin Kennedy….together we are “The Caley Crew”!
We all work together in our ‘day jobs’ and we are all avid supporters of the charity…..we have been doing car boot sales, cake & candy stalls, tombolas, etc, to raise funds for our Kiltwalk efforts…..all this fundraising and our numerous training walks have kept the team very busy this year!
The banter on our walks is fantastic. I even put up with the football chat!
On the 4th walk this weekend, we will be joined by a few more pals and we can’t wait to share our Kiltwalk banter with them.
Andy is already working on what we are going to be doing next year!

Susie’s inspiration – her amazing daughter Sammi (now 18 and super healthy!)


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Any shoppers who use Amazon….remember AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support our charity every time you shop, at no cost to you.

Everything the same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping as normal but the added bonus that Amazon donate a portion of the purchase price to It’s Good 2 Give!

Just click on the link below and start shopping


Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – our speediest walker – Elaine!

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Hi I’m Elaine a long time supporter and trustee for it’s good 2 give charity.

The reason I signed up to walk 4 kiltwalks in 2018 is for a few reasons, firstly let’s be honest when Lynne asks who fancies a challenge who can actually resist, as she is such a caring and inspirational lady who founded the charity and works endlessly to run it, can any of us actually say NO!!

Secondly I became involved after meeting Lynne when my son Aaron was undergoing over 3 years of treatment for Leukaemia, the help we received from charities made a huge difference to our difficult time and I always vowed after Aaron got the all clear I would go that extra mile to raise whatever money I could to help others in the same situation so I thought why not walk 100 miles, 4 kiltwalks and admire some of Scotland famous cities.

Thirdly we know how lucky we are that Aaron is well today 23 years old and in March he will be 10 years off treatment and all the steps I walk for charity is nothing compared with the steps the children take whilst going through treatment.

The charity does amazing work providing practical support and has a beautiful ripple retreat where families can enjoy a break , so go ahead join us, cheer us , sponsor us, get involved, it certainly gives you great satisfaction knowing your helping make a difference. ( keeps you fit too 😉).

(ps from Lynne – you will have to be fast if you want to see Elaine – def our speediest walker! Awesome lady with awesome family – love them to bits)

Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – this time it’s the ‘Boss’

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Note from Lynne – Shonagh has written a guest blog post about her participation in all 4 Kiltwalks this year.

She and I have worked our socks off (literally) all year to make this the best fundraising and fun opportunity for our charity.  Thanks also to Trustee Joanna doing an impressive one woman recruitment drive we have over 320 walkers walking for us.

I take my hat off to Shonagh and Jo.

Shonagh really has been Kiltwalk ‘Boss’ this year.

Read her story here…….

I decided to walk all four Kiltwalks and walking 26 miles on each walk … because each mile represents Evie’s 26 months of her life.

If you don’t know who Evie is, she is our daughter who will forever be 2 years 2 months…. she is the little sister of our amazing son Alfie who is walking Edinburgh’s 5 miles and she is the inspirational girl of many, many people!

Evie has touched the hearts of her local community in Dunfermline, and beyond! In May 2013 cancer killed her. I hate cancer, and I will do everything I can to help make the lives of young cancer patients and their families easier.

It’s Good 2 Give does just so, it provides practical support to families who’s children have cancer all over Scotland and more recently it opened the doors to the Ripple Retreat, a place where families can go for a short break to escape from the trap of cancer, its tranquil , peaceful, and full of love and fun. It can’t cure cancer but it can bring families closer and create beautiful memories. I am teary as I write this as you can’t ever know what it’s like to live through seeing your child hurt so much through cancer and it’s treatments until it happens to your child, and anything that can help just that tiny bit, can make a huge impact.

I know It’s Good 2 Give does all this because my family was that family who received the support through such a horrible time.

Please, if you can walk 6, 13 or 26 miles or looking for a challenge to push yourself…. I would love for you to join us next year in one or more of the Scottish Kiltwalks – too late to sign up now for Sunday! Though you can still offer to volunteer or cheer on our walkers

ask yourself WHAT WOULD EVIE DO?

She would do it , and sing and dance all the way

Thank you to the moon and back



Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – Kerr family

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Since our son / brother Tiernan was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago we have been huge supporters of It’s Good 2 Give! After experiencing first hand just how much cancer treatment can affect the whole family we know how invaluable the support from It’s Good 2 Give is / can be for families during the most unpredictable times.

It’s Good 2 Give! is a real team effort and this is shown in many ways. The dedication from Lynne, Ian and the team is incredulous as they spend so much time and put so much love into the charity to help in as many different ways as possible.

Our family (Mark, Carla, Caitlin, Arianna, Tiernan and Ellamae) have organised a few events this year to help towards our Kiltwalk fundraising

  • Sponsored haircut for the Princes Trust
  • Golf Competition
  • Tenpin Bowling Competition
  • Bagpacking
  • Raffles
  • Tombolas
  • Bake sales
  • Teddy sales

From these events we have managed to raise over £5200 for It’s Good 2 Give! and we know this will make a huge difference. 

Mark and Arianna (kneeling down in the photo below) are so excited to be part of the IG2G kiltwalk team next week in Edinburgh. Bring it on!


We’ve let ourselves in by the Love heart latch……

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Our World Renews

by Melinda Tetley


‘A serene waterside sanctuary for young cancer patients —

where they can play and unwind during the most challenging times,

escape the traumas of illness in soothing Scottish wilderness

sheltered in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Winds weave around this retreat — healing starts.’


That is the promise and we’re on our way,

trying to keep emotions at bay;

provoking ballads turned off.


And the dark road is twisting and I’m driving too quick,

off-balance and fretting, wondering what to expect.

And the narrow road is squeezed by a thick tree screen

and sheer stone and signposts half-covered by leaves.


And the summer sky is a tussle between high white and low grey;

blue pools appear, disappear, shrouded by

clouds, unable to forget;

green flashes on hills, smothered in an instant.


And then we arrive and the gate is open;

my eyes glance

across the shadow-stained garden,

my eyes peer

across swollen, swirling Loch Venachar


to a beacon

to Ben Ledi, a mass of ancient pine, scrub, rock,

topped this morning with a shining halo, Bel’s golden crown,

inspiring flares from dark heavens as he dances his festival of fire, heralding the end of winter.


Its majesty, a spark.




Out of a zinc-roofed ripple comes a lady,

open-handed, gracious smile,

warm hug, welcome discretion. She shows

us around a most incredible

setting: rolling hills, sweeping skies, undulating

waters, glistening light. White

butterflies flutter through the thistledown

and dock, table tennis, musical

steps, a flying fox. I can’t quite believe —

is this really for us? Taking the

tour, we explore the house: colourful

paintings, comfy sofas, glass.

Pause for a moment, eye the mesmerising

view; ‘press this button,

lower blinds, if you need to.’ And they’ve

carved a heart on every pane.

I can’t quite believe — and start to cry.

Sunglasses back on, inside.



When we arrived

the little one wandered, surveying toys —

a flying saucer garden swing,

nets to catch minnows,

a giant rainbow xylophone,

tick-tack-toe, three-in-a-row —

wondering who would play with her.


Our big girl sat at the dining table getting organised

reading the information guide,

planning university work half-


checking her phone

rereading Tom’s last text,

worrying about his silence.


My husband unpacked the car, then walked straight to the shore —

trying to fathom the imposing hills, the wide purling loch,

and find solace —

a solitary figure,

gazing into murky waters.


I roamed the garden assessing risks —

midges, burning sun, pollen, ticks;

running my hand over the sharp-skinned volcanic rocks

dotting the water’s edge, not a place to sit,

fissure-scarred, moss growing in cracks.


We left a hot, stifling Edinburgh behind —

carefully-controlled, be cautious, keep him safe;

alone-together — it was our new way.


And where was he?


Desperate not to let opportunity pass him by,

he strode from the other side of the house

into a rumour of sunlight,

carrying a bucket, a huge smile, fishing gear,

heading to the soft-swirl pier,

boy again

in this wild place with

no beeping machines

no needles to endure

just a peaceful loch and a pole.



‘Scottish Baking’, ‘Eating In’ — tomes to help

prepare the feast; then settle down and play

monopoly, mahjong, risk.


Take a cruise up Loch Katrine, then stroll along a thistle-path,

chuckling all the way to Inversnaid,

ignoring the pests, feeling blessed.


A first long walk, a first bike ride, a first tennis stretch,

and then a sit,

a quiet oak bench,

to think and rest,

under the ‘embracing hills’.


Instead of ‘be strong’ or ‘it will get better’,

they quietly comfort, show they care

by creating a natural breathing space where,


you can relax in the midst

of tumult, reclaim childhood, family fun,

feel looked after, every detail thought of —



I take a deep breath and know

this is open-hearted understanding —

we are not alone.



A lush place —

wispy high-rise golden grasses spreading seeds,

fragile-seeming, bending in the blustery breeze

but they’re not breaking.


A beastie place —

hot sweaty days, clammy nights,

cleggs clutching at your clothes,

flies, tiny moths — spray the smidge, flinch, itch,

swat them away

but they’re not balking.


A wild place —

finches in flying-chaos cheep to berry-laden branches

then skitter-scatter, red squirrels scamper,

masses of honeybees buzz in a clover-frenzy,

pied wagtails dash down full of envy

but they’re still singing.


A tumultuous place —

emotions swelling without a stop,

waves crashing —

‘Is mum weeping again?’ Don’t hide it.

Dad turns pale, takes a deep breath, bruised

but we keep talking.


In this forest full of light —

we’re surfacing, coming back to life.



6:30am, a morning ritual, emerging

to pay homage to quiet, to coffee, to a mercurial landscape

wondering — what will today bring?


Yesterday, it stormed:

raindrops drumming, windows streaming,

mist swirling above the black boiling loch.


But today? I slowly round the corner,

look left through the pane —

Ah! a blushing bright dawn:

soft rays illuminate the grass,

Loch Venachar serene, smooth, like glass

reflecting Ben Ledi, the pine trees, the pink celestial clouds

a perfect mirror, a paradise.


If I could freeze a moment, it would be this —

my children sleeping peacefully,

warmth, beauty, bliss.


We are part of this enchanting natural world but you forget

when living in that man-made hospital-hell —

bags of poison, night wails, incessant jabs, invasive questions…

taking it one day at a time,

or one hour,

or one minute;

head down,



‘how did we get here?’


In this space, in this place, every morning you lift your eyes up and look out —

like the cream-petalled meadowsweet standing proud,

like Ripples, the winged fairy in the flowers, in graceful arabesque, opening herself up to the sky —


Loch Venachar —

a chaotic scene, ever-changing.

A place for reconciling — with splendour comes sorrow.


I will keep rising in the morning, looking out at the shifting spectacle.


The sun is climbing, luminous beams from the east,

brightening somber hills, glimmering across

leaden water, and, although I can’t quite see beyond the bend

in the loch, behind

the clutch of trees,

the water is flowing gently in that direction and for now

I choose to hope, to believe

while still knowing that change is the only thing we can count on

and love.



The water meets the hills and the hills meet the sky,

a sea plane glides in gracefully, a sailboat rights.


A grove of alders hug the shore, seedlings sprouting —

give us strength, courage, peace; cast out the doubting.


Today we amble gaily down the Invertrossachs Road

cherishing each other, taking it easy, and slow.


You’re out in front belting ‘Sunshine on Leith’ like grand opera

having forgotten your thin legs, fuzzy head, pallor.


‘My tears are drying. My tears are drying. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.’ Our world renews.


Little sis bounds from behind and leaps on Dad’s back,

her peat-brown eyes full of giggles, mischief, sass.


Your big sister, arm-in-arm, asks me lots of questions:

‘When you told granny your travel plans, what was her expression?’


A fresh rain’s given way to puddle-splash in the verge,

sodden socks and song: ‘While I’m worth my room on this earth,


I will be with you —’ held for one second, two seconds, three.

We all harmonise the tender melody.


We welcome passing folk, waving cheery hellos,

sharing joy in this nourishing natural tableau —


three beaming lady backpackers, two intrepid

wet-suited swimmers, a bright-eyed wrinkled man lead-

ing a laden donkey, a rush of cyclists —


relishing clean air, dappled sun-streams, cheerful rapport,

while Loch Venachar caresses the jagged shore.


Later, uttering silliness in Grinch-gutteral tones,

our pockets full of warm rosy pebbles, we wander home.


You lead the way down the rocky drive grinning,

open the heavy gate, point out a white shimmering:


hanging from a rowan sapling, a white shining marvel —

you brave a first run to read ‘laugh often, love much, live well’.



Cancer is a fearful Kelpie

lurking under the black loch

waiting to drown our child.


This past year since diagnosis is a terrifying blind stumble

through Coillebhroine, the Wood of


under a waning moon,


by gnarled pine giants,


on distended cracked roots,



Our stay at the retreat is an open iron gate glinting

under a valiant sun,

carved with a rose, a sparrow with wings uplifting,

butterflies, bees, crowned with an audacious flaming thistle

and a magical shooting star. We’ve let ourselves in

by the love-heart latch,

been stirred and strengthened.

It is time to journey on.


The wood-slatted pier is a golden birlinn

carrying the Sun god

as he rouses the weary, stokes the fire within, promises a new day.

Climb on, he says.

The swirling bow will protect you against billowing surge.

Together we will battle the deadly water-horse swimming

under the vessel

who has caused your world to toss and pitch.

You must believe.

It is time to journey on with hope.






Dawson, Karen ‘Love shared, moves not with a stone dropped splash’, a poem seen on a poetry bench in the Ripple Retreat garden, July 2018.


The Proclaimers (1993) ‘Sunshine on Leith’, EMI.


https://www.rippleretreat.com, ‘Relax and Reflect’, accessed 25 August 2018











Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – Team Remember Zoe King

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My name is Briony Sharp and this year, along with a group of friends, we are doing the Edinburgh Kiltwalk in memory of our wonderful friend Zoe who sadly lost her battle with soft tissue sarcoma on this day in 2007, 5 days before her 18th birthday. Myself, Rhona, Scott, Amy and Gemma (Team RememberZoeKing) have been putting the in the miles to challenge ourselves and raise money for this cause which is very close to our hearts. It has now been 11 years since we said goodbye to Zoe but she always in our thoughts and very much with us throughout our lives. Training is going well – mostly!! Trying to the get team together for some walks in a challenge in itself but rest assured we will cross that line together thinking of Zoe. Through Zoe we were aware of Lynne and her charity work for young cancer patients in Edinburgh and across Scotland. The wonderful work Lynne and the team do through It’s Good 2 Give is truly inspirational and very much needed for young people and their families. We know Zoe would be really proud to be associated with everything the charity does, most recently the Ripple Retreat opened in 2017 on the banks of Loch Venachar. We feel very lucky to support this charity and it’s work in any way we can and appreciate all the support we have had.
Team RememberZoeKing x

Meet our Edinburgh Kiltwalkers – Trustee Fiona tells why she is doing 3 of the 4 Kiltwalks this year

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My name is Fiona Bruce and I currently work as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in ward 2 at Royal Hospital for Sick Children. I have the wonderful job and privilege of looking after the wonderful patients and families that are sadly affected by childhood cancer on a daily basis. Unfortunately this is a disease that brings with it devastation and complete upheaval of everyday life, not only effecting the patient but often siblings and other immediate family. This is where ‘It’s Good 2 Give’ comes in, that ‘wee’ charity that I love. The charity offers practical support to patients and families such as toiletry bags with essentials for those first few days after admission when life is upside down and all you want to do is freshen up and feel human again. Down to ironing vouchers to take the pressure off of life that is still going on at home despite being stuck in a hospital room 24 hours a days. The charity also does a variety of workshops that patients and siblings can attend and mix with others in similar situations. This brings a bit normality to an otherwise abnormal time.
Then there is the Ripple Retreat, well what a place. The retreat allows the opportunity for families to get away to a truly stunning part of Scotland and relax in a luxurious and tranquil surrounding and just recharge and have some quality family time together. These are just a few of my reasons for being a trustee for this ‘wee’ charity.
This is why a team of us from ward 2 have taken 3 out of 4 kilt walks to do our bit for Its Good 2 Give. (It would have been 4 if it hadn’t been for the Ed Sheenan concert haha). So come on folks come and join us, whether it’s a wee wander or the full mighty stride, every bit helps and goes a long way!