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Watch: Hollywood movie star Ewan McGregor encourages people to join Miles to the Moon challenge and celebrate Moray girl Abbie Main's 18th birthday this week

By Craig Christie

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ABBIE'S Sparkle Foundation's MILES to the MOON challenge has gained Hollywood support from Scottish movie star Ewan McGregor.

Miles to the Moon will celebrate Abbie Main's 18th birthday on Thursday.
Miles to the Moon will celebrate Abbie Main's 18th birthday on Thursday.

Almost 900 people have signed up for a charity effort encouraging people to walk, run, swim or cycle during the month of October and help raise cash and awareness for children with cancer.

Former Scotland and Aberdeen football star Eoin Jess is one putting in the miles this month, and Trainspotting actor McGregor sent his own video of support which was posted on the charity's Facebook page.

The challenge will celebrate the 18th birthday this Thursday of Moray youngster Abbie Main, whose life inspired the foundation set up in her honour.

Read more: How the challenge started, and how to sign up .

Its goal is to to reach the 238,855 miles to the moon through any type of exercise that is distance related. Anyone can take part; all you need to do is sign up and log your miles (link below).

Abbie Main’s 18th birthday would have been on October 15. After living with Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, she passed away on Christmas day in 2017 at the age of 15.

Her brother Cameron is the chair of Abbie's Sparkle Foundation, which raises awareness of Sarcoma and helps children with cancer across the UK.

By last weekend, 871 people were taking part in Miles to the Moon and had completed over 40,000 miles in just 11 days.

"There are people from all across the world such as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Holland, Spain and Germany logging their miles for Abbie," said Cameron.

However the challenge is still behind target and more people are needed to join and clock up even more distance for the cause.

“We want as many people involved in the challenge as possible for Abbie, but it’s also about raising awareness of Sarcoma and what we do as a charity.

"The charity has all come from Abbie and the fact that she was able to think of how she could help people."

Setting up the foundation was far from Cameron's mind in 2017, but it was in the forefront of Abbie’s thoughts.

In February of that year, when Abbie knew she was terminally ill, she came up with the idea of a charity to help children like her.

Abbie created the name and logo and wrote down that she wanted the charity to “raise money for hospitals and stuff” on a piece of paper one day with her friend.

Cameron, his mum and dad (Tammy and Russell), had no idea about it and were given the piece of paper after Abbie passed away. Since then they have made it their mission to carry out Abbie’s wish through the foundation.

In just under three years, Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation has raised nearly £300,000 and helped almost 400 children.

The charity was able to open its own holiday lodge in Aviemore last year which children living with cancer and their families are free to use.

“The charity has grown so much, visiting the kids in the hospitals and seeing the difference even a small thing like handing over a bag of goodies can have, it makes it all worthwhile and shows how important charity work is," Cameron added.

“I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, especially for Abbie because we’re doing what she wanted to do herself.”

University of Stirling student Cameron is part of the Triathlon Scotland development squad and is a sportscotland Institute of Sport supported athlete.

Like many athletes the 20-year-old is eagerly awaiting a return to competition after disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic as he targets a Team Scotland place at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He said: “I was training throughout lockdown. I’m really fit at the moment; I just need to keep my fingers crossed I can get some races under my belt soon.

"The sportscotland Insitute of Sport and Triathlon Scotland both being set up in Stirling is really good for me. I get full support at the Institute including psychology, nutrition and physio.

“It is more difficult to keep training when there isn’t that certainty of a specific races to aim for. But one of my big long-term goals is Birmingham 2022, that’s always in the back of my mind and it keeps me going in training when there’s no other races on.”

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