The Kinross community is getting behind a student nurse whose life was knocked off course by a terrible brain tumour.

Teams of local amateur athletes are planning a gruelling 24-hour challenge on June 5 in an effort to raise funds to help Kirsty McCloskey (21) from Kinross get back on track.

Kirsty went to Milnathort Primary and Kinross High School before doing a nursing degree at Dundee University.

During her final year, in November 2019, she suddenly began to experience debilitating headaches, vomiting, visual distortion, numbness and difficulties balancing.

She was diagnosed with severe migraines and the condition came and went, returning with a vengeance in January 2020.

A scan at Perth Royal Infirmary on February 5, 2020, discovered a tumour the size of a satsuma on her brain stem.

An 11-hour emergency operation at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee the next day saved her life but it has left Kirsty needing a lot of intensive physiotherapy to recover her movement and coordination.

Her father Wilkie McCloskey explained: “The brain tumour was thought to have been there unnoticed since childhood.

“The surgeon said it was the ‘best type of tumour but in the worst type of location’.

“It was growing into an area called the cerebellum, a part of the brain that has an important role in motor control. It’s crucial in muscle coordination, precision and timing of movements.

“After she had her emergency operation in February last year, they were able to see from scans that 95 per cent of the tumour had successfully been taken away.

“But it is not like a normal injury, the healing is very slow. She’s had to learn to walk again, how to cut food, eat by herself- all the things we take for granted.

“Kirsty is at home with us getting occupational therapy, physiotherapy and Pilates. There is a lot going on to help her build up muscle strength and coordination again.”

Keith Cuthbert, Simon Parsons and Nick and Ann Leslie will attempt the Loch Leven 24

Keith Cuthbert, a friend of Wilkie’s from Milnathort, wanted to help make sure in these critical next months of recovery Kirsty got all the assistance she needed.

In recent weeks Keith has begun organising a round-the-clock relay event he has named ‘The Loch Leven 24 Hour to support Kirsty McCloskey’.

The McCloskey family - mum Gillian, dad Wilkie, Kirsty and her older brother Cameron and younger brother Gregor - were involved in a range of sports clubs in Kinross.

It has meant that the Kinross Colts youth football club has put forward a team for the Loch Leven 24, along with Kinross Otters swimming club and also the Kinross Tennis Club, which the whole family was involved with.

Some will walk, some will run, some will cycle, all going in continuous motion passing a stuffed toy cat as a baton until the time is up.

Keith, an engineer with a manufacturing company in Dundee, has been out cycle training with friends Simon Parsons, plus Nick and Ann Leslie, to ensure they are in top condition for the night and day challenge.

On June 5, at Kirkgate Park, they will track themselves with a GPS tracker and estimate they will cover 250 miles over the 24 hours.

Keith said: “Seeing how strongly the community has responded to hearing about our fundraiser to help Kirsty just reflects how well thought of the McCloskey family is.’’

The event will go towards enhancing Kirsty’s treatments and secondly, to support the Brain Tumour Charity.

The link online for Loch Leven 24 Hour to support Kirsty McCloskey is at #GoFundMe#helpkirstywalkagain