Derek nears the million mark
Fundraiser excited by new Crohn’s projects
Cambuslang fundraiser Derek McEwan has revealed his delight at helping to fund a potential new treatment for Crohn’s disease.
As a 16-year-old boy, Derek faced the heartbreak of losing his mum, Catherine, to the condition. She was only 38.
For the past 14 years he has been working tirelessly to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, as well as the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital in Glasgow through his Catherine McEwan Foundation.
And with nearly £1 million already raised, he is starting to see some long-term results.
“There is a number of projects we are funding,” said 41-year-old Derek.
“I am excited about all of them, but one of them is really exciting.
“Basically, there is something called modulating which is a drink they give to kids who have lost a lot of weight through Crohn’s.
“You let nothing else pass your lips for eight weeks and drink two litres a day. I’ve tried it and it’s really not nice.
“The psychological effects are severe. Imagine being at a birthday party or family dinner and all you can take is this drink.
“The research we have funded has developed a diet that will replicate the effects of the modulating.
“We are identifying patients right now and will be implementing it over the rest of the year to see if it works.
“We’ve been funding this for seven years. If it’s successful it could be a huge breakthrough.”
Derek has already helped fund a variety of short-term projects, such as publications helping children deal with the transition from paediatric care to adult care and inflammatory bowel disease nurses at the hospital for sick kids.
He has done this through major events like his annual Red Hot Ball, the latest of which took place in March in Glasgow’s Double Tree by Hilton hotel and raised £50,000.
“We had an 80s theme,” says Derek. “We had Pat Sharpe there, along with the likes of Brother Beyond, Dr and the Medics and Hazell Dean.
“Everyone was having so much fun we had to kick them out at 2am. It was mental.”
The £50,000 matched their best ever return from the ball, and has helped them to within just £75,000 of breaking the million barrier.
Other events coming up include regular fundraisers such as Tea Jenny in September, ‘Comedy Crohnies’ in October and the Santa Bungee in November, with Derek completing one in London as well as Glasgow.
Before then, on June 17, he will complete the Peak2Peak challenge, where he and his team will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon all in the same day.
Although he has never set targets in terms of fundraising, Derek admits he does have one eye on the £1 million mark.
“The foundation has never been about how much money it can raise, we are more interested in the projects and the benefits they bring to people. But all being well we should smash the million barrier and that would be a great achievement.”
Derek is looking for people to help out with his Peak2Peak challenge as well as businesses to get involved to support the climbers. Go to www. peak2peak2017.co.uk for more information.
We had to kick them out at 2am. It was mental
Having a ball Derek McEwan (left) introduces the 2017 Red Hot Ball which raised £50,000
On top of the world Derek and his pals get in some training for their three peaks challenge