BORDERS siblings are raising money following their father's cancer diagnosis – a decade after their mother died from the illness.

Mark Gaddie, 54, of Melrose, discovered last month that he has cancer in his left tonsil and lymph nodes in his neck.

Now his children Hannah and Lachlan have set themselves an ambitious challenge to help the Western General Hospital and Friends of the BGH.

"We lost our mum to cancer 10 years ago and we felt pretty helpless going through that,” said 19-year-old Lachlan.

“It was very difficult and there wasn't much we could do.

"More recently, our dad's been diagnosed with cancer as well."

Hannah, 23, said: "When our mum was ill with cancer, we were only 13 and nine.

"Now we're older, we're in the position of being able to give something back to those who have helped us in the past, and those who will help us now."

Mr Gaddie, a used-car sales manager, will receive combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital.

He will make the 41-mile journey from the family's home in Melrose five times a week, for six weeks.

During this time, Hannah and Lachlan – former pupils at Earlston High School – are aiming to cover the same distance each day by swimming, running, cycling or rowing.

Lachlan said: "We have split the 41 miles into three 13.7 mile segments.

“Hannah and I will do one segment each, and we have opened it up to others to do the last 13.7 miles on any given day.

"We want to get as many people involved as we can to spread the word and awareness.

"We're doing this for dad and for others who have to go through this type of thing.

"As a family, we are very close and positive in general, but your initial thoughts are to fear the worst.

"But dad is ready to go and fight this with everything he can."

The pair have so far been overwhelmed with the support for the fundraiser, which they appropriately launched on Father's Day.

In just over a week, £6,235 has been raised by 224 supporters (figures correct at 11pm on Monday, June 29).

The money will be split equally between the BGH and the Western General’s head and neck cancer unit. 

Hannah and Lachlan’s mother spent a lot of time at the Melrose hospital after her cancer diagnosis. She died in 2010.

Ahead of Mr Gaddie’s treatment next week, he has managed to pitch in with the fundraising effort.

Hannah said: "Dad went out and cycled 14 miles himself last week, to do his part for the challenge.

"But on Sunday (June 28), he slipped and fell on wet grass, breaking his ankle – meaning that he will be on crutches for the foreseeable future.

"Our phones have been going crazy with kind messages and people wanting to get involved in the challenge.

"We really appreciate the support, because we weren't expecting this amazing response."

Details of how to donate can be found on the 'Move with Mark' Facebook page, or on the JustGiving fundraiser – which you can access by clicking here