Party favour Stay­ing pos­i­tive to help oth­ers and make most of life

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By SO­PHIE FLOW­ERS

Huc­cle­cote Methodist Church Hall will be host­ing a bring and buy sale on Sat­ur­day from 10am12.30pm in aid of the CT Scan­ner Ap­peal En­try 50p or free if you bring an item to sell

WHEN Andy Loughran was told his can­cer was ter­mi­nal, his friends asked him what he wanted to do and he replied ‘let’s have a party.’

Within weeks, the 47-year-old’s loved ones had or­gan­ised a huge event in his hon­our and are rais­ing vi­tal funds for char­ity in his name.

Around £3,000 has been col­lected from the party, which took place at Glouces­ter Ir­ish Club, for the Chel­tenham and Glouces­ter Hos­pi­tals Char­ity’s £1.2m CT Ap­peal.

The self-con­fessed joker said he has been over­whelmed with the love and sup­port he has re­ceived and what ev­ery­one has done.

“It is un­be­liev­able. Ev­ery­one has been won­der­ful. This party is just a small amount of what peo­ple have done for me,” he said.

“If I had a pound for ev­ery time some­one had said ‘If there is any­thing they can do, don’t hes­i­tate to call,’ I would be rich.”

Andy, from Glouces­ter, went to the doc­tors last year com­plain­ing of a throb­bing in his stom­ach.

He was re­ferred for

an ul­tra­sound which found an 8cm tu­mour on his kid­ney.

A CT scan con­firmed the re­sults and he was sent for a biopsy in Sep­tem­ber. He said: “By the time I went to get my re­sults of the biopsy, my tu­mour had grown so big I was strug­gling to walk and move. It was al­most 14cm, I called it my Easter egg. “I was told the can­cer was stage four and they were fast-track­ing the op­er­a­tion. “The tu­mour had taken most of one of my kid­neys, gone through my di­aphragm and taken the spleen.”

He con­tin­ued: “When my sis­ter and I were told the news, we broke down, it al­most de­stroyed me.

“I got through the op­er­a­tion okay but I was told af­ter Christ­mas the can­cer was now ter­mi­nal. It is treat­able with chemo­ther­apy, but it is not cur­able.”

De­spite the news, the for­mer Cho­sen Hill School pupil is re­main­ing pos­i­tive. His daugh­ter Aimee Wal­ters is preg­nant, and he is de­ter­mined to see his first grand­child born, visit a glacier in France with his son Ash­ley and see the North­ern Lights.

“I am just car­ry­ing on as I al­ways have done. I have al­ways been happy and life and soul of the party, “he said.

“I al­ways strive to be that, al­ways the joker and I am just go­ing to carry on like that.”

He is get­ting mar­ried to his part­ner of five years Jes­sica Spencer, 36, who he met when they played on op­po­site skit­tles teams.

She said: “He has been ab­so­lutely amaz­ing through all of this. It has not only been hard for him deal­ing with the di­ag­no­sis but also to see the faces of his loved ones.

“Andy will try ev­ery­thing un­der the sun to pro­long his life. He has such a great fam­ily and friends sup­port­ing him and he wants to fight for them ev­ery day is pre­cious.”

Since the cou­ple met, they have been pas­sion­ate about en­joy­ing life.

“There was not a spare mo­ment that was wasted. We trav­elled, went to con­certs and fes­ti­vals, he would have a go at ev­ery­thing put in front of him from bungee jumps to mo­tor­bikes,” she said.

Andy, who worked at UPS in Brock­worth un­til his ill­ness, pro­posed four years ago on the beach when they were on hol­i­day in Greece but they have put off plan­ning their wed­ding un­til now. They hope to marry next month. “It won’t be a mas­sive wed­ding as I

am not sure Andy could man­age it phys­i­cally,” she said.

“It is im­por­tant for both of us, for him to feel con­tent but also to give me strength to carry on af­ter­wards.”

As well as the party this week­end, spon­sored events to help the ap­peal in­clude Andy’s friend Mark Tay­lor who is row­ing one mil­lion me­tres in 100 days for the char­ity.

His sis­ter Les­ley Rees and her hus­band Chris are walk­ing Hadrian’s Wall this sum­mer while his friend Brad Par­sons has ar­ranged a char­ity fight night.

Andy said: “We can­not thank ev­ery­one enough for what they are do­ing and par­tic­u­larly Dar­ren and Sara Hendry for ev­ery­thing they are do­ing for the party and to ev­ery­one who has do­nated prizes for the raf­fle and the auc­tion,.

“We chose this ap­peal as we wanted to help buy some equip­ment for the hos­pi­tal. We know £1.2m is a lot to raise but ev­ery lit­tle helps.”

Se­nior fundraiser at Chel­tenham and Glouces­ter Hos­pi­tals Char­ity Karen Or­gan said: “We can­not thank all of Andy’s fam­ily and friends for ev­ery­thing they are do­ing to help with ap­peal.

“Our thoughts are with Andy and his loved ones as he be­gins his chemo­ther­apy treat­ment and we wish them all the best with their amaz­ing ef­forts.”

To sup­port Andy’s fundrais­ing drive, visit just­giv­ing.com/fundrais­ing/sara­hendry.

Andy Loughran with fi­ancee Jes­sica and, left, sup­port­ing the ap­peal

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