Aberdeen and Scotland football hero Eoin Jess signs up for Miles to the Moon active challenge set up by Moray charity Abbie's Sparkle Foundation to raise money and awareness of childhood cancer
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ABERDEEN footballing legend Eoin Jess has signed up for an active challenge celebrating the 18th birthday of a Moray youngster whose life inspired a huge charity effort.
Abbie's Sparkle Foundation have set up a unique Miles to the Moon fundraiser, which is appealing for people of all ages to walk, cycle, run or swim during the month of October to help clock up a big collective distance.
The charity was set up two years ago by the family of Elgin girl Abbie Main - who named it herself - after her brave battle living with a childhood cancer for over four years ended when she passed away on Christmas Day, 2017.
Her legacy is Abbie's 'sparkles', or gifts and grants awarded to children with cancer across the UK.
October's 'Miles to the Moon' effort was established to mark the occasion of Abbie's 18th birthday on October 15 and raise money to continuing supporting children affected by cancer.
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It is open for anyone to take part and is free to enter, all you need to do is sign up and log your miles by cycling, running, swimming and any other types of exercise that are distance related.
Over 100 people have already signed up, including former Scotland and Aberdeen football star Eoin Jess, the brother of Abbie's uncle Dave, who is urging others to take part.
Abbie's brother Cameron is the chairman of the charity and says Miles to the Moon takes place between October 1 and 31.
All participants have to do is create an account here and log their miles from Thursday through the month by signing in to their account.
Distances can be clocked on fitness apps like Strava or GPS devices, before entering the miles on the challenge home page.
"Abbie would've loved the idea of this challenge," said Cameron. "It's definitely up her street as she was big into sports such as cheerleading, gymnastics and running back in primary school.
"She would also want as many people to get involved as possible to celebrate her 18th Birthday and raise as much money as they can, as she would've been expecting a big party for her 18th!"
The aim of the challenge is to try and cover a total distance of 238,855 miles, the equivalent of a journey from Earth to the Moon.
"The idea came from one of our trustees when we realised that we were going to have to cancel Abbie's 18th Sparkle ball due to COVID-19, which has now been postponed to October 2021.
"Instead of not having any big fundraiser or event to celebrate Abbie's 18th birthday we thought that having up this huge challenge could raise awareness of Abbie's Sparkle Foundation, Sarcoma, Childhood Cancer and also raise some money at the same time.
"It is also particularly special to my mum because it is something her and Abbie used to say "love you to the moon and back".
Cameron and his dad Russell have contacted over 240 clubs and sports centres across Britain to try and recruit more participants.
Both Cameron and his girlfriend Sophia Green are sporting stars on the Triathlon Scotland performance pathway programme, aiming to gain selection for the next Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in two years time.
They have recruited fellow leading triathletes to take part, with Moray marathon runner Kenny Wilson another who has pledged to clock up the miles in October for the cause.
Cameron's triathlon training involves swimming, cycling and running many miles each week, and he has set himself a personal target of 1000 miles in the month as part of the challenge for his charity.
Read more on the Miles to the Moon Facebook page.