So sur­prised... I read the let­ter three times

Can­cer fundraiser John is gob­s­macked by MBE hon­our

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Ken­neth Speirs John De­laney hands over a cheque to the Teenage Can­cer Trust

A tire­less fundraiser whose son died of can­cer has been awarded an MBE by the Queen in to­day’s Birth­day Hon­ours.

John De­laney, of Lochwin­noch, has raised more than £500,000 so far for the Teenage Can­cer Trust fol­low­ing the death of his son An­drew from the dis­ease at the age of just 14 in 2003.

But in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial man­ager Mr De­laney has mixed emo­tions about the hon­our.

“I’d rather no­body had ever heard of me,” he said.

It was af­ter An­drew’s death that Mr De­laney was in­spired to be­come a fundraiser for the Teenage Can­cer Trust, not just in mem­ory of his son but also to help all those fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of young peo­ple who will need care spe­cific to their age.

Ev­ery day, around seven young peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with can­cer in the UK, and the trust sup­ports them be­fore, dur­ing, and af­ter treat­ment.

The char­ity needs to raise £2,850 ev­ery day to main­tain its cur­rent ser­vices in Scot­land.

That’s where Mr De­laney comes in, with a long list of fundrais­ing chal­lenges al­ready un­der his belt.

He said: “I have done the West High­land Way, the Cale­do­nian Chal­lenge, The Bos­ton (Row­ing) Marathon, a Land’s End to John O’Groats cy­cle, and a cy­cle along the coast of Ire­land from Mizen Head in the south­west to Malin Head in the north­east.

“On most of these trips I was ac­com­pa­nied by my good friend from Lochwin­noch Dr Roger Carter, and he de­serves a medal for putting up with my moans and groans through­out all of these chal­lenges.

“In­deed, the whole of Lochwin­noch de­serves the medal for the way they have sup­ported my wife Rose­marie and me, and pretty much adopted the Teenage Can­cer Trust as the vil­lage char­ity for the past 10 years or so.

“I also helped or­gan­ise some classical con­certs in the Glas­gow Royal Con­cert Hall for the char­ity a few years back, with a full pro­fes­sional sym­phony orches­tra con­ducted by the com­poser Karl Jenkins.”

Teenage can­cer suf­fer­ers have par­tic­u­lar needs when it comes to treat­ment and hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion, as Mr De­laney found out af­ter An­drew was di­ag­nosed with a tu­mour on his spinal cord.

And, as the can­cer took hold, rugby fan An­drew ended up paral­ysed from the waist down.

“He was con­fined to bed and re­quired full- time hospi­tal treat­ment,” Mr De­laney told the Ex­press in 2013.

“Al­though he was only 14, he was six feet tall and was too big for a chil­dren’s bed, so we went to the West­ern In­fir­mary, in Glas­gow, but it was hideous.

“He was to be ad­mit­ted to a ward full of old men who were dy­ing of can­cer, even though he had been ab­so­lutely fine just a month ear­lier.

“Thank­fully, a bed was found for him in another ward and he was there for six weeks, with an am­bu­lance tak­ing him to the Beat­son ev­ery day for ra­dio­ther­apy.”

John, 59, and An­drew’s mum Rose­marie, 58, de­cided to take him home to be with his brother Paul and sis­ter Sarah, who are now 26 and 28 re­spec­tively.

And it was af­ter An­drew’s death that Mr De­laney saw music leg­end Roger Dal­trey on tele­vi­sion talk­ing about a char­ity called the Teenage Can­cer Trust.

He got in touch with the char­ity and found out they didn’t have a pres­ence in Scot­land.

He was asked to help, and now, thanks to his fundrais­ing ef­forts and those of oth­ers, the Teenage Can­cer Trust has four units in Scot­land: at The Glas­gow Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal, the Beat­son West of Scot­land Can­cer Cen­tre in Glas­gow, at Ed­in­burgh Sick Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal and at the West­ern Gen­eral in Ed­in­burgh.

Mr De­laney was stunned when he re­ceived the let­ter telling him he had been nom­i­nated for the MBE.

“I was to­tally gob­s­macked when I got the let­ter,” he said.

“I read it three times and thought: ‘Is this le­git?’”

But it soon sunk it that the let­ter was in­deed le­git and that Mr De­laney’s royal hon­our was recog­ni­tion, not just of his own mon­u­men­tal fundrais­ing, but of the Teenage Can­cer Trust too.

“I am chuffed,” he said.

Vanessa Todd, re­gional fundraiser in the West of Scot­land at Teenage Can­cer Trust, paid trib­ute to Mr De­laney.

She said: “We were ab­so­lutely thrilled to hear the news that John is to be hon­oured with an MBE.

“John has been a long- time sup­porter of Teenage Can­cer Trust and as one of our ear­li­est fundrais­ing cham­pi­ons in the coun­try, was ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial in our char­ity’s ex­pan­sion into Scot­land.

“He’s a tire­less ad­vo­cate and fundraiser for spe­cialised teenage and young adult can­cer care and we are ex­tremely proud to see him recog­nised with this well de­served hon­our.”

To help the Teenage Can­cer Trust, visit www. teenage­can­certrust.org

Fundraiser

In­spi­ra­tion Son An­drew passed away from can­cer

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