A couple of years ago, Cancer took my mother. Quickly too - about seven weeks from diagnosis to death. Mum, being an old nurse and in her seventies, really appreciated the care and help given to her by the staff in Broadford, Fort William (and Mr Sedgewick), and finally from her local nurse, who lives next door.

Its difficult to describe seeing your old mum - someone who seemed unstoppable and full of life, literally deteriorate before your eyes. In the end, she passed away 'peacefully', which is survivors code for 'dosed out of her eyeballs on opates'. Death is death, its not pretty, and I can only publically state my thanks again to everyone who helped. This is why I put a Macmillans badge on my blog.

It hit us as a family hard. My father is now in his mid-seventies, and lives alone in the family house, surrounded by memories. Thankfully, his hobby - ceilidh fiddling - keeps him (very) socially active, and the lovely folks in Dunvegan do their best to curb his enthusiasm for speed, diesel engines and high-speed grass cutting. He's also cut back on his firestarting, much to everyone's relief.

So why mention this now, after a few years ? Well, firstly, its the first time I've felt able to talk about this in the past tense without actually sobbing. I may have got to the stage of grief where I can cope. And because two folks who I deeply respect, like and admire are raising money for charity. Cancer charities

Firstly, Kitty Elsmore - the power behind Warrens drive to run UKLUG, and an amazing person, commemorates her father, and is walking 26 miles. 26 miles. On the 20th of June. You can sponsor her (and Warren - who *has* to wear a Bra - here). Please go there. They visited on the same day that they walked 14 miles, and poor Kitty was crippled. This means a lot to Kitty - she's prepared to walk her feet into broken bits for this. Go sponsor her here.

And Frank. Everyone in the Notes in Scotland knows Frank Docherty. Not only a very smart man, one of the nicest ones too. And Cancer took his wife, and mother of his child recently. Frank has been fed through the meat-grinder of life in the most awful way, and this charity fundraising for 'Team Docherty' not only helps others, it helps his family to cope and to find something positive out of this awful event.

Dont feel you have to donate because of me - I'm not asking you to do that. I'm asking you to donate to these two amazing individuals because it might help someone else.