With a little help from my friends

Kirsten and Ryan
Kirsten and Ryan

LANGSIDE pupil Ryan Coyle learned the meaning of fundraising recently — and soon put the word to good use.

The 10-year-old helped organise a sponsored walk in honour of his best friend, Kirsten Collins (9), who was receiving treatment for leukaemia after a diagnosis three years ago, as well as dealing with autism.

Ryan’s proud mum, Theresa, told The Extra: “We were in the car one day and we heard a news story about a child raising money through sponsors.

“He asked me what it was and when I explained he said he’d like to do it for his friend Kirsten. It was unusual for Ryan, who has speech problems, so I took notice”.

Kirsten’s mum, Fiona Wilson, continued: “Kirsten had a holiday at Malcolm Sargent house, in Prestwick Sands, a fantastic family hotel especially for children with cancer.

“Ryan actually visited Kirsten during the summer and had a great time. They made him feel really welcome as well and I think that’s what made him decide to raise the money for them”.

Both mums put their heads together and brought Ryan’s bright idea to fruition with a sponsored walk around Pollok park — and they were overwhelmed when over 20 children showed up, along with parents and siblings.

The event raised £750 for Clic Sargent — which provides support for children with cancer — and both Ryan and Kirsten made the trip to Prestwick on Tuesday to hand over the cheque.

As he set off, Ryan commented: “I wanted to help other children, especially my friend. I really enjoyed visiting Kirsten in Prestwick and I’m looking forward to going back today”.

Kirsten, who was unable to take part in the walk because she was ill at the time, added: “I was disappointed that I couldn’t do it because I was at the hospital. I’d like him to do another one, so I can join in this time”.

A walk especially for the youngster who missed out is on the cards now that she’s in remission and recovering well.

Mum Fiona commented: “It’s lovely to see her doing so well.

“Ryan and Kirsten have been firm friends since primary one. He’s an amazing boy and he’s seen my daughter through some difficult times.

“He’s been good supporting her, and she’s been a good friend to him as well”.