Two caring students from Drumchapel are helping to raise cash for a friend who is battling cancer.

Karen Neil and Lucy Toal will put heart and soul into a 12-mile sponsored walk from Drumchapel to Balloch to help fellow student Leanne Hawkins go on a dream trip to Disneyland Paris.

Leanne’s life was turned upside down when she found out she is suffering from an aggressive form of incurable cancer.

But the brave 21-year-old decided to live the rest of her life to the full, and told friends and family that a trip to Disneyland with her family was high on her wish list.

Now a major fundraising drive is under way to help Leanne achieve her dream.

Karen and Lucy got to know Leanne, from Blantyre, at the UWS Hamilton campus where they were studying for Bachelor of Arts degrees in criminal justice.

Karen, 22, told the Post: “We were devastated when we heard about Leanne’s illness and wanted to do something to help.

“We will be doing a sponsored walk from Drumchapel to Balloch on November 18 and we are looking for as many people as possible to support us.”

The girls will be joined on the walk by fellow students Kirsty Findlay, Zara Cuthbertson and Karen McCluskey, who have been studying on the same course.

Karen said: “Leanne is very upbeat despite her illness and is looking forward to her trip to Disneyland Paris with her family.

“We are due to graduate next month and we hope Lucy will be able to make the ceremony as well.”

Leanne’s problems started back in February when she complained of stomach pains that resulted in many trips to the hospital.

She said: “I began losing weight really fast and since February I have lost about six stone.

“I was tested a lot and the results just kept coming back saying it was fatty tissue, so the thought of it being cancer never even crossed my mind.

“When they found the lump to be cancerous, it was a huge shock. Doctors said it was aggressive and it had spread.

“I hadn’t prepared for it. I was devastated. Everyone was.”

A Just Giving page was set up by Leanne’s sister Laura-Jane and a target of £5,000 was put in place.

But that has now been surpassed and on Monday the total raised stood at almost £9,000.

Laura-Jane said: “One of her favourite places to go is Paris, so as a family we have decided to take her back for a last enjoyable trip.”

Karen says people who would like to support the students on their walk can pick up sponsor forms at 50 States Diner in Clydebank, where she works, or by going to Leanne’s JustGiving page at