Watching a friend go through a difficult time is almost unbearable.
Many will do anything for their pals – from going for a coffee to enjoying a meal together or just being there when life gets tough.
In Cari Cartney’s case, her friends are doing all of this – and throwing in a 26-mile walk for good measure!
Since her shock diagnosis of breast cancer in October, aged just 41 years old, Cari from Lanark has remained positive and strong.
She has endured eight rounds of chemotherapy, undergone surgery at Wishaw General Hospital and is due to start a course of radiotherapy.
And her bravery has proven inspirational to her friends, so much so that they’ve signed up for Walk the Walk’s MoonWalk event next month.
The fundraiser sees thousands of participants walk different distances around Edinburgh while the rest of the city sleeps.
Jill Yates is among Cari’s friends who are taking part.
She said: “Cari wanted to do something to raise awareness and funds and, after talking, we came up with the MoonWalk.
“There are nine of us taking part and we are Cari’s Certifiable Crew – the name made her smile and we all know each other through Cari.”
In the crew are Cari’s husband Allen, her sister Kirsty Gore, friends Angie Watt, Kirsty Whitehead, Sharon Hunter, mum and daughter Angel and Chloe Anis and Jill and her husband Mark.
The two Kirstys are doing the six-and-a-half-mile walk, while the others are doing the Full Moon of 26 miles.
Cari’s mum Morag from Carstairs will be part of the support crew, driving Cari to and from Edinburgh so she can see the crew set off.
Jill said: “I’m sure we will make it because we are doing it for Cari.
“The training is tough but whatever pain we feel it will be nothing compared to what she has been through.”
Originally from the Lothians and formerly of Brechin, Cari met Jill at a local dog training class.
Jill, who is originally from Yorkshire, said: “We have been friends ever since. Her diagnosis came completely out of the blue. There was shock first, then disbelief.
“But she has been remarkably strong and positive ever since.
“She is very open and honest about everything.
“At 42 she obviously didn’t expect to find a lump but she has been extremely brave.
“She has her low times but when she is well enough she does just get on with it.
“We have a Chinese takeaway on a Saturday night or go to a coffee shop in Lanark – we just do something.
“Cari is a person who sees the good in people and will always try to help people and thinks of others first.
“She has said nothing can be worse than chemo; it’s been a long, hard slog for her.
“It’s been a shock for everyone – her friends, family and it’s difficult for her husband to watch her go through it too.”
Cari is not Jill’s only connection with breast cancer.
Her husband’s mum, Julie, has had breast cancer twice and is now in remission.
And her aunt, Dorothy Cox, has also had breast cancer and is now receiving palliative care.
Jill said: “My cousins and I ran the 10K Race for Life for my aunt and to help raise awareness.
“She’s 91 now and similar to Cari in that she lives life to the full.
“Up until very recently, she was still line dancing!”
As well as training, Jill and the team are spreading the word to ensure people are more aware of breast cancer.
“It’s really important to Cari to raise awareness,” added Jill. “She didn’t expect this so young, so it’s important to check your breasts and, if you’re concerned, to seek help.
“I’d also encourage people to sign up for the MoonWalk; if Cari’s Certifiable Crew can do it, anyone can!
“We are not super fit, active people but we’re doing it for Cari and to give something back.
“The care and support given to Cari, my mother-in-law and aunt is invaluable and it needs to be funded.
“As a team, we have raised £1300 so far and we’re hoping to collect even more.
“People have been so generous which has touched Cari and every one of us.”
To donate to Cari’s fundraising, visit https://moonwalkscotland2017.everydayhero.com/uk/cari-s-certifiable-crew