Fundraising girl rallies support to help teacher

Brynja Duthie and teacher Mr Donald Grewer.
Brynja Duthie and teacher Mr Donald Grewer.

A Cupar teenager who raised more than £3000 last year in memory of her grandfather has turned her attention to her maths teacher who has fallen ill.

Brynja Duthie (14) lost her grandad to prostate cancer and, determined to raise funds and awareness of men’s health, she went on to make a staggering £3808 for the charity ‘Movember’ selling home baking.

At that time, she attributed her success to the support of her friends, family and teachers, particularly Madras College teacher Donald Grewar.

Last August Brynja discovered that Donald was unwell and had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND/ALS), a condition which attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Donald, who now uses a wheelchair, had previously been a keen runner which led Brynja to the decision to organise a fun run in St Andrews in September.

She explained: “I wanted to show Mr Grewar how much I care about him and appreciate what he has done for me and others so I approached him with my idea for a fun run.

“He thought it was a great idea and is now helping me with the organisation.”

Brynja, with the help of her ex-running coach Graham Bennison, then got in touch with Frank McLaren, secretary of Fife Athletic Club, who is also now involved.

Thanks to the support of Ian Guant, assistant director of the Athletic Union at the University of St Andrews, the race will take place on Sunday, September 13, at the Cricket Pavillion, St Andrews.

There will be two races, a Junior 1km and Seniors 5km.

Funds raised will be split 50/50 between the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, a charity which conducts research into MND, and the costs of Donald’s care and equipment.

Brynja said: “This will show Mr Grewar just how much people care about him, admire and respect him as well as raise lots of money to help with his care and research into MND”.

Donald said: “It is both hugely rewarding and humbling to work with Brynja. The fun run should be a great event, raising money to support research into a cure for degenerative diseases. A huge thanks to all volunteers, particularly ‘the committee’.”

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