Firefighter friends show Toy Story spirit to support Andi and Archie
13 October 2020
Firefighters from Bo’ness captured the spirit of Toy Story when they completed a gruelling 24 hours challenge.
Echoing the film’s theme song, “You’ve got a friend in me”, they conquered over 40 miles of tough terrain for their friend and former colleague, Andi Galloway and his three-year-old son, Archie.
Andi is now Station Commander for Larbert, Denny and Slamannan. His little boy was diagnosed with leukaemia in March and has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
Andi and his wife Lisa, who live in Bathgate, West Lothian, have received much support from Andi’s former watch who have been a constant help during this difficult time.
A team of four firefighters who all work for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have completed the Lake District 24 peaks in 24 hours. They were Ross Maxwell, Chris Bates, Martin McCaig, and David Young. Martin Chapman was also instrumental in the planning but was unfortunately unable to take part in the challenge.
Ross said: “We wanted to do something different and challenge ourselves mentally and physically.”
In 16.5 hours they covered over 40 miles walking, climbing and descending, and nearly reaching 100,000 steps.
The group also took Archie’s toy Woody on the trek, and kept Archie updated with photos from his adventures, and Chris wore a Woody costume.
Ross said: “Chris is good friends with Andi and dressed as Woody at various stages. I don’t believe the costume made it back in one piece!”
Apart from tough terrain, there was appalling weather.
Ross said: “The Saturday was horrific. We were soaked through. The rain and wind was constant and visibility almost non-existent, thankfully the rain stopped on Sunday. It was a great experience, a very difficult one, and a great sense of achievement.”
They set themselves a fundraising target of £500, so far, they have raised over £4,000, with the aim of giving Andi and his family a lifetime trip to somewhere like Disney World.
Ross said: “All the crew have known Archie since he was born. We wanted to create a shining light at the end of the tunnel for Archie, his little sister Leah, Andi and Lisa to give them something to look forward to once their difficult time was at an end.”
Andi said: “They are a great bunch of guys. They’ve always been there for me. It’s hard to work out what to say because saying thanks just isn’t enough.
“I’ve also received so many messages of support from all over the Service. Lots of people wishing us all the best. To know that people are thinking of you during a challenging time, really does help. I really want to thank everyone for their support.”