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Strictly Inverness dancer hopes to raise £6000 for Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre

By Hazel Urquhart

Suzi MacDonald with the Highland Hospice mascot Bobby Bee
Suzi MacDonald with the Highland Hospice mascot Bobby Bee

ONE of the contestants in this year’s Stricty Inverness plans to raise an impressive £6000 for the Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre.

Suzi MacDonald, from Inverness, has assembled a team of close friends and family to help her with her fundraising efforts before the charity dance competition in May.

She was inspired to get involved in the competition after sadly losing her husband Roddy Matheson to cancer in October 2014.

“The Highland Hospice played a huge role in supporting Roddy and I and it’s now my turn to support them,” Suzi said.

Roddy was diagnosed with cancer in June 2012, a week before his daughter Abby was born. After receiving treatment, by October 2013 he was in remission.

Unfortunately in February 2014 he was admitted to hospital after enduring an awful cough for weeks and then in early March he was told he had six to eight weeks to live because the cancer had returned.

This was when the hospice became involved and began making regular home visits to Roddy.

“Without them I wouldn’t have been able to cope with his care on my own,” Suzi said.

Seven months later, Roddy passed away at home. Suzi credits the extra time he had to the support he received from the hospice.

“I am adamant that without the amazing support system we had in place, along with Roddy’s sheer determination, we wouldn’t have been able to have the precious seven months we were lucky enough to have with him.”

In April 2016 Suzi married Roddy’s friend Billy Matheson.

“Roddy actually played matchmaker,” Suzi said.

“Billy and Roddy were friends for a long time and when Roddy was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Billy spent a lot of time with him.

“One day, Roddy told me to let Billy look after me when he was gone. He didn’t want me and our three-year-old daughter Abby to be on our own, and he had a lot of time for Billy.

“I told him not to be so silly, I was married to him. Unbeknown to me, he’d also had a quiet word with Billy.

“I didn’t think much more of it, but after Roddy passed away in October 2014, Billy and I did end up getting together. And a year later, Billy asked me to marry him.”

Suzi has so far raised £4000 through activities such as a kids’ disco, wine raffles, lucky squares and a waxing night where three volunteers, including her husband, were waxed for the cause.

Suzi will also be raising cash at Marks and Spencer while packing bags on March 29 and in Morrisons on April 6.

She is also holding a race night at Kirkhill Community Centre on March 30. Tickets cost £5 and include stovies during the break (contact Suzi on 07813 890981).

Strictly Inverness gets under way at Inverness Ice Centre on May 8.

For tickets for a Greatest Showman themed fundraiser at the Waterside Hotel in Inverness on March 30, by dance partners Darrel Paterson and Gemma Kellacher, text 07807 788077.

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