Leighanne Easton, from Jedburgh, is 26. Two weeks ago, doctors told her she had barely months to live.
Her brain tumour is terminal, they explained, and it had multiplied, despite chemo and radiotherapy.
Now Leighanne’s friends, and her hometown, are raising money to fulfil her ’bucket list’ – a ‘to do’ list before you ‘kick the bucket’ – by selling pairs of pants.
Leighanne, a former Borders College hairdressing student, who is being cared for by her mum and dad in Aberdeen, wishes to drive a tractor, go on a spa weekend, see Blackpool’s lights and Mrs Brown’s Boys live.
“It’s just little things,” said pal Stacey Wylie, a 28-year-old mum who grew up beside Leighanne in Howdenburn Court. “Hopefully she will have time. I don’t know how fast she’ll go.”
Two ‘hospitality tickets’ are booked for the Hibs game on October 26, for Leighanne and her father to meet the players, and spend quality time together.
“Her mum was phoning round bridal shops,” Stacey told us, “so Leighanne could spend a day trying on wedding dresses, because obviously she won’t be able to get married.”
But Leighanne’s biggest wish is to raise awareness about the symptoms of brain tumours, so diagnosis doesn’t come too late for others, such as it did for her and two of her young, close friends.
More money is needed for research, she said.
“She’s been hit with the worst case straight away,” Stacey said. “It’s just really sad. She’s younger than me.
“Her bravery is unbelievable. She’s coping amazingly. She can still joke about things. But she thinks she needs to be strong for her family. She’s inspirational.”
The pants part of the story began when Stacey’s mum, Trish Lyall, commented: “Life is pants.”
“Well, cancer is pants,” replied Stacey’s sister, and the idea rolled.
Stacey and Trish’s friend, Hazel Heard, then bought 100 cheap, white ‘granny’ pants, on which Jedburgh’s Middlemiss Embroidery Company emblazoned, for free, ‘Cancer is Pants’ in bright pink lettering. “We’ve only 10 pairs left,” Stacey said, so far raising £280, and selling at £2.50 per pair.
More fundraisers will sport ‘Cancer is Pants’ underwear – worn outside their trousers – on a walk up Peniel Heugh on Saturday at 10am, taking donations with buckets. They’ll be met, and thanked, by Leighanne after she finishes her last round of treatment.
“People who can’t join us for the walk are wearing Cancer is Pants to work,” she said, intimating that she’d heard Jedburgh’s Co-op and Simply Scottish had such plans.
Leighanne’s former primary school, Howdenburn, is also fundraising with a ‘wear purple day’ in November.
“We didn’t think it would kick off, but it’s amazing. People are just coming into the house and giving me money,” Stacey said.
To donate, contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org