It was my working class background, and the opportunities I was given, which I believe, instilled in me a social awareness which underpins everything I strive to do both as a mother and a political campaigner.
As the eldest of three sisters I learned early both to value my family and how quickly the security it provides can be shattered.
My dad died very suddenly when my two sisters were only eight and 13 years old. From a comfortable situation where dad had a good job, we had foreign holidays and Mum was at home for us, we were suddenly a one parent family.
It felt that our lives, our whole world had changed literally overnight. But we were lucky. Our Mum had terrific support and went back it to work. She made sure my sisters had everything I'd had and everything they needed for the best possible start in life.
As an adult who was soon to graduate and start work, I knew I had a responsibility too. My parents had given me the best possible start and it was my turn to step up and do my bit.
There were people I was at school with who were at least as bright as I was but didn't get the opportunities I did to go to university, have a career, and give their own children that best possible start in life.
I'm grateful for what I've had and its made me determined to do whatever I can to ensure all children get the chance to fulfil their potential and pursue their dreams.
My own daughter, Mhairi, is now in her second year at university and Ive tried to pass on that social awareness and commitment to her.
But my family's experience is also at the root of my commitment to protecting, and developing our NHS services.
When my dad died we knew that he had the best possible care, and nothing more could have been done to try to save him.
Five years ago I also faced major surgery confident that I was in good hands. My GP and hospital staff were wonderful, the care superb and my family and friends were able to visit easily and often.
It breaks my heart now to see people forced to travel for operations, look around to find a GP practice that will accept them and worry about whether the health board can still provide the standard of care they deserve.
That's not good enough. We were entrusted with a quality health service that previous generations built and we benefitted from. Its up to us to protect it and ensure it has the investment it needs so we can all be sure our loved ones will have world class care when they need it.
I am determined to make sure that happens.
That's why I have been at the centre of Liberal Democrats' campaign for a fairer deal for the North East from the SNP government on transport, health and education.
It is why I have campaigned for action on the emerging GP crisis in the North East and for improved support from the SNP Government for NHS Grampian.
And it's why I have called for incentives, such as salary weighting, to encourage teachers and other public servants to move to Aberdeenshire.
Its time for the change we need. I want to make it happen.
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