A KIND-hearted childminder is taking on a virtual swim from Largs to Millport to send a heartbroken family on holiday following the sudden death of a much-loved dad.

Dawn McCreadie will swim over 200 laps of Auchenharvie pool after Ayrshire Tornadoes basketball star William MacLaren passed away following a short battle with cancer.

Dawn is a childminder for William and wife Shona’s two children, Thea and Mason, with Shona tragically going through her own battle with cancer as well.

Dawn explained: “What this family have experienced is an unexpected and unimaginable tragedy.

“Whilst still in the early months of her own battle, Shona and Will discovered that he had bowel cancer.

“Unfortunately the devastating news didn’t stop there as his illness was at an advanced stage and incurable.

“Will’s health deteriorated so much faster than anyone expected and tragically he passed a few days later, with Shona by his side.”

Dawn says she wanted to do everything in her power to help the family and decided to try and give them trip to remember.

She said: “I want to try and make their lives a little bit easier, so I’ve decided to try and raise some money.

“Hopefully next year when Shona's treatment is hopefully a distant memory, they can have a wee family break together and make some happy memories because they certainly deserve it.

“I’ve challenged myself to swim virtually from Largs to Millport during October, so I’ll be swimming 232 lengths of Auchenharvie pool which is the equivalent of the 3.6 miles distance.

“I did think about doing the distance to Arran before I realised how far that was, and I’m quite glad I’m doing it in a pool rather than the freezing Firth of Clyde.”

Dawn smashed through her original £500 target within 24 hours, and reveals five-year-old Thea already has a trip in mind.

She said: “Reaching my target within a day was just unbelievable.

“I was reluctant to do the challenge because I didn’t think I would get enough donations, but the support has been overwhelming.

“Thea is only five but she has been saying to me all year she wants to go to CBeebies land at Alton Towers so that would be amazing for them.

“If readers can find it in their hearts to donate to my fundraiser I'd be so grateful."

Estate agents Welcome Homes Ayrshire have offered to distribute forms for any local people looking to do their own fundraiser for the family.

To support Dawn visit www.gofundme.com/f/6x4cv-miles-for-smiles