If you have been out and about in Kirkcaldy this week you might have spotted one or two gold bicycles around the town and wondered why they were there ...
They were put out by Kirkcaldy mum Kelly Clarkson who saw the initiave highlighted by the Glow Gold September campaign, which originally came up with the idea.
Its aim is to generate awareness of childhood cancer – this is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – by spray-painting bikes gold and displaying them around towns and villages.
The bikes symbolise the childhoods lost as a result of cancer.
The cause is one close to Kelly’s heart following the loss of her beautiful daughter Megan who passed away in January, aged just two, after battling a rare form of lung cancer.
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Kelly began putting the bikes out at various locations in the town at the weekend with help from her husband Martyn and six-year-old son Myles.
The gold bikes in Kirkcaldy can be found at The Spiral Weave pub in Chapelton Drive, Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy Galleries, the Penny Farthing, Ravenscraig Park and on the Esplanade.
More are set to be displayed in the next few days.
She told the Press why she decided to put the wheels in motion locally.
“I put the idea out on Faceook originally and it generated a lot of interest,” she said.
“A way to generate awareness for childhood cancer is to have gold bicyles around the town as this symbolises the lost childhoods created by cancer.
“The scheme was started by Glow Gold for September, I’m just purely piggy backing on it to help spread the awareness. From the conversations, and the bikes I was given to spray paint, I think it is working.”
She continued: “I have had a lot of people offer their support and their bikes .
“I put them out around Kirkcaldy and hope they will generate some interest and some support for Childhood Cancer Awareness.”
Kelly believes the gold bikes are a striking way of attraction attention to the cause.
“They are a very visual way of highlighting childhood cancer.
“The bikes represent the lost childhood, whether that be that your child is no longer here or their childhood has been tainted by cancer.
“Also, while you are going through treatment you can’t just go outside and play on your bike, which children don’t understand the way adults do.”
The Glow Gold September childhood cancer awareness campaign was set up by a group of parents of children with cancer, many of whom had lost their child to the disease.
It has the backing and support of many well known charities nationally and locally including Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Fund, Clic Sargent, CCLG and CCLASP.
The group’s aim is to ensure the colour gold becomes synonymous with childhood cancer and the awareness month in September.
During the campaign, the group wants to see iconic buildings, businesses and schools participating by illuminating them in gold in any way possible.
They hope that will all lead to greater awareness of the early signs and symptoms, earlier diagnosis, increased funding and research, kinder more targeted therapy and ultimately a change in the prognosis for kids diagnosed with childhood cancer.
Milene Munro from Glow Gold September said: “We encourage all childhood cancer charities or families to participate in the Glow Gold Bikes which started in Aberdeen in 2017.
“Kelly having recently lost her daughter Megan to this awful disease has done a great job in Kirkcaldy, taking it upon herself to raise awareness of childhood cancer, for which we are thankful.
“Childhood Cancer Awareness is key this should lead to more research which in turn means kinder treatments for our kids.”
Kelly added: “I am hoping the gold bikes will get people thinking about childhood cancer more and then this can lead to greater awareness and education of the symptoms of childhood cancer. No-one wants to think of their child getting cancer, but everyone should be prepared for it.”
Where the idea came from ...
Using golden bikes and scooters to raise awareness of childhood cancer was first carried out in Aberdeen in 2017.
They were placed around Aberdeen city centre and Stonehaven in a bid to raise awareness.
The project was set up by Milene Munro, who lost her seven-year-old son Braeden to cancer in 2014. She is now a member of Glow Gold September.
The bikes and scooters had a special significance as each one was marked with the names of child cancer victims. They were chained outside buildings, coinciding with Childhood Cancer awareness month and dedicated to the child’s memory.