Son steps in to help Fife dad’s cancer battle

John and son Ali are having their heads shaved
John and son Ali are having their heads shaved

Residents in Kinghorn are lending their support to a popular former sports coach who helped build up football in Fife, who is now fighting a battle against cancer.

John Gavin (59), a founder member of Kirkcaldy United, who helped develop his beloved sport in Fife, after playing himself for many years, is trying to fund a course of immunotherapy treatment for metastatic melanoma cancer.

John and wife Liz

John and wife Liz

And his son Ali (19) and five of his friends have organised a head shave tonight (Thursday) to help boost the total.

John, a resident of Kinghorn for 20 years, was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2008 when he noticed changes to a mole on his chest.

He had it removed and was monitored, however unknown to John and his family the cancer had spread inside his body and after suffering continuous pain in his ribs and shoulder, X-rays in October 2013 showed he had a tumour growing between his ribs and lung which had broken his ribs.

Since then he has undergone various treatments with different degrees of success.

In July 2016 he underwent further surgery for a tumour on his adrenal gland which resulted in the removal of the gland, one of his kidneys and spleen.

During his periods of convalescence, John’s love of sport and football in particular has helped keep his spirits up and he joined the Kirkcaldy Walking Football Club and took up wheelchair tennis.

The community’s fundraising efforts have seen them raise almost half of a £20,000 target to fund a course of drug treatment which they hope will boost John’s immune system to fight the disease.

John said: “We are very grateful to everyone in the village, including Kinghorn Parish Church, our friends and family who have helped us.

“This treatment is not available on the NHS in Scotland, although it is in England, and we will have to consider moving south if it proves a success.”

John’s son Ali (19) and five of his friends as well as John and his friend Dave Galloway will have their heads shaved by Ronnie Marshall from Byron tonight (Thursday) and Ali is streaming it live on Facebook.

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