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Inverness health worker who overcame two traumatic illnesses is set for the challenge of a lifetime in aid of the ARCHIE Foundation

By Alasdair Fraser

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Linda Laing-Gordon is ready for Great Wall trek
Linda Laing-Gordon is ready for Great Wall trek

An Inverness woman is to take part in the ARCHIE Foundation’s China Trek to raise funds for the official charity of the Highland Children’s Unit.

Linda Laing-Gordon (56) will be one of a team of 15 jetting off to Beijing in May to spend six days trekking the Great Wall of China.

As well as experiencing spectacular sights along one of the Seven Wonders of the World, she will sample local cuisine and culture between Huangyaguan and Beijing.

Ms Laing-Gordon, inspired by her own cancer and stroke scares, is raising £4200 to help ARCHIE.

In 2003, she was involved in a horrific car crash and suffered a broken leg and collapsed lung. After a week in hospital, she suffered two strokes, limiting movement in the right side of her body.

After months of rehab and physio work, the courageous woman returned to work at Raigmore Hospital.

Then in 2013, she was hit with a devastating cancer diagnosis after finding a lump in her breast. After a mastectomy, reconstruction and rounds of radio and chemotherapies, she was eventually given the all clear.

Now enjoying life to the full again, Ms Laing-Gordon said: “It was a long haul. I found it hard to believe it was happening to me, wondering why and automatically assuming the worst.

“It was also awful for my family and friends watching on, knowing there was nothing they could do. What happened changed my life, but it has made me more grateful for what I have.”

Giving something back is central to that outlook.

She added: “The trek will be a mega challenge on my stamina, but I love being outside and walking.

“I’m such a positive and happy person and I’m looking forward to making new friends.

“I would also like to help the sick children in our area as I was so lucky with my own care.”

Emily Findlay, the head of overseas events at ARCHIE, said: “Linda is such an inspiration to us. She is so outgoing and positive about life. The trek will help us raise valuable funds for sick children in the Highlands.”

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