Newlyweds who chose to forego a traditional honeymoon in favour of trekking Cambodia have raised more than £9,000 for charity in the process.
Mike and Lilian Patterson Murray decided to do things a bit differently when organising their wedding and honeymoon in May.
Whilst most newlyweds jet off to exotic climates after the wedding for some much needed rest and relaxation, they decided to trek across Cambodia to raise funds for Marie Curie and instead of receiving any gifts, encouraged their guests to donate to the cause instead.
Lilian,48, a nurse practitioner based at the Borders General Hospital, and Mike, 47 also a nurse, with the hospital to home team, had to raise at least £3,400 each ahead of the trek, but smashed that target thanks to a variety of fundraising coffee mornings, pub quizzes and bag packing days in the months leading up their spring wedding.
The couple, who live at Swinside Hall, near Oxnam were married at Dryburgh Abbey on May, 4 and jetted out to Cambodia just two days later to form part of a 12-strong team of trekkers all raising money for the terminal illness charity.
““Mike is a widower, his late wife died of cancer and received care from Marie Curie,” Lilian said. “We have had a few close friends lost to cancer so it’s a charity close to both our hearts, and that’s what spurred us on to do it.
“It was a lot of planning, organising our fundraising and organising the wedding at the same time.
“We had a lot on.
“We were jet lagged and exhausted and day one was a real killer for us, but we got more used to it each day.”
For almost a week, they covered around 20km each day, camping as they went and using the river as a shower.
“It was a big trek and it was quite tiring in parts,” Lilian added. “The weather was very hot and humid, over 35 degrees at times. That was the main difficulty for us.
“Breaking down the amount raised into the numbers of hours of help and support that Marie Curie could provide was our motivation to keep going.”
Their £9050 equates to over 450 hours of nursing at home, providing specialist care and support to people living with any terminal illness and their families.
The couple are holding a fundraising ceilidh in aid of Marie Curie on Saturday, September 8 at 7pm in Kelso Rugby Club. Tickets from Lilian on 07974 417703 or Mike on 0901 965842 , from Kelso Rugby Club or on the door.