A Kinghorn brother and sister will sound the charge against cancer in Kirkcaldy this Father’s Day – in memory of their dad who died from the disease.
Ali and Libby Gavin were heartbroken when dad, John, died from cancer aged just 59.
Now they’ve been chosen to ring the starting bell and send more than 1000 Scots on the Race for Life courses at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy this Sunday (June 16) to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
They’ll be supported by their mum, Liz Gavin, who helps at the charity’s Kirkcaldy shop as well as volunteering at Race for Life events across Scotland. They’ll also be cheered on by John’s eldest daughter, Jenny Gavin (29) and his grandchildren, Connor (8) and baby Millie, aged nine months.
You may also be interested in:
A popular sports coach, John, was a founder member of Kirkcaldy United and well known for his commitment to encouraging youngsters to take up the beautiful game.
His son, former Balwearie High School pupil Ali (21), said: “We all miss dad so much.
“He taught me how to play football and some of my best memories of him are connected to his love of sport.
“He inspired youngsters of all ages into football. He was a brilliant man to be with at home too – I was so lucky to have him as my dad.”
John was first diagnosed with melanoma in January 2008.
He’d visited his GP after noticing that a mole on his chest had changed in colour and size. That spring at St John’s hospital in Livingston, he had surgery to remove the mole and skin around it as well as some lymph nodes.
But in October 2013, tests showed the cancer had spread and there was a tumour growing between his ribs and right lung.
In November 2013, John was accepted on a clinical trial of a new drug which stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow.
For the next 21 months tests showed that John’s tumours had stabilised. But, by October 2015, the cancer had started growing again.
On September 21, 2017 John died at Victoria Hospice, Kirkcaldy, surrounded by his family.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s spokeswoman, said: “We are grateful to Alistair, Libby, Liz, Jenny and all the family for everything they are doing in John’s memory to support the charity.
“By following their lead, people across Fife can make a real difference in the fight against cancer.”
The courses taking place in Beveridge Park this weekend are: Pretty Muddy Kids from 9.15am and Pretty Muddy on Saturday from 10am and Race for Life Fife 5K and 10K on Sunday from 11am.
For more information visit: raceforlife.org