Cupar dad battling brain tumour raises £5k

John and Alvina Menzies
John and Alvina Menzies

A Cupar dad who was told he had an inoperable brain tumour has turned devastating news around by helping others in need.

When John Menzies (47) posted his ‘Jock’s Journey’ campaign on facebook just over a week ago, announcing his plans to shave his ‘Simon Cowell’ hair, he hoped to raise £1000 for the TCCL lodge house in St Andrews.

But members of the public, inspired by his selflessness, donated £2000 in just ONE day and the total has already surpassed £5000.

John and his wife Alvina (42) said they were overwhelmed by donations and messages of support received from family and friends.

Alvina said: “We’re just speechless. It has energised us and boosted our positivity.

“John has always faced things head on and this felt a natural thing to do.

“We created the page on the Monday on the basis that John said ‘If I’m going to have to lose my hair this is what we’ll do.”

John, a self employed carpetfitter, was diagnosed unexpectedly with renal cancer in September 2015 and underwent an operation to remove a tumour on his kidney.

He recovered well and doctors gave him the all-clear in February but John began to develop headaches.

Alvina said: “The doctors thought it was due to stress and the fact that John was probably dehydrated since he had just one kidney.

“We didn’t think we had anything to worry about and even went on holiday to Tenerife.”

After returning home and undergoing an MRI the father-of-two was told, however, that cancer had spread to his brain.

Furthermore, due to its location and associated risks, the tumour was inoperable.

He has embarked on radiotherapy treatment to shrink the growth and decided to “unashamedly take advantage” of losing his “iconic” hair to raise cash and awareness for a good cause.

He chose the TCCL lodge in St Andrews, which opened in October last year and provides free holiday accommodation to children diagnosed with cancer and leukaemia and their families.

He said: “It’s bad enough a person of may age dealing with this cancer situation. It must be terrible for parents with young children and them not understanding what’s going on in their lives.

He added: “I’ve basically got something good out of something that been pretty rubbish to be honest

“I don’t like to see people stuck. If I can help people out I’ll do that.”

John and Alvina Menzies - who have been married 16 years - also hope that ‘Jock’s Journey’ raises awareness of ‘silent’ renal cancer.

Despite having grown a 10cm tumour on his kidney, John had no symptoms at all until he noticed blood in his urine and was treated for suspected kidney stones.

Praising the medical team at Ninewells hospital, Alvina said: “It wasn’t our intention to be in this situation but its humbling that people are taking heed.”

For more information on John’s story and to make a donation to the campaign visit www.facebook.com/JocksJourney/