Tuesday 31st October 2017

Scotland

Over the years, John Delaney has raised over £500,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust, by taking on amazing challenges including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, taking on the Midnight Sun Marathon in Norway’s Arctic Circle, rowing the Boston Marathon, and cycling the length of Great Britain and Ireland.

John’s fundraising was inspired by his son Andrew, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002 at age 14 when doctors found a tumour in his spinal cord. As a result of the biopsy in his spine, Andrew was paralysed from the chest down, so his medical and personal care needs were way above what would normally be the case for the cancer treatment.

In 2002, there weren't many options in the west of Scotland for cancer care for teenagers and young adults. That was the main reason why John and his wife Rosemarie cared for Andrew at home rather than him being stuck in a children’s’ ward on a permanent basis. Andrew died at home 18 months later, just before his 16th birthday.

Over the past 5 years, with the help of passionate fundraisers like John, Teenage Cancer Trust has built up support services for young people with cancer in Scotland. Since Andrew’s death, the Delaney family has been fundraising in his memory to ensure other teenagers with cancer get a better deal, have better choices, and specialist support.

Currently, only about half of the 200 13 to 24-year-olds diagnosed in Scotland each year have access to the dedicated young person’s cancer services in West and South-East Scotland. Part of John’s fundraising legacy is the new Nursing and Support service, which will change this. The charity is recruiting Clinical Nurse Specialists to work across Scotland, supporting local young people with cancer in areas where they may not otherwise be reached. These Nurses will know every young person with cancer in Scotland and ensure that their psychosocial needs are discussed nationally and met locally, no matter where they live.

On receiving his MBE, John said:

I'm very proud that real people have seen our fundraising work and have felt strongly enough to recommend me to receive an MBE. I am also delighted to receive the award in view of the progress we have made in getting the Teenage Cancer Trust units established in Scotland.

But none of this would have come about if we hadn't lost Andrew to cancer. I would give anything and everything I could for none of this ever to have happened.

Vanessa Todd, Regional Fundraiser in the West of Scotland at Teenage Cancer Trust, said:

John has been a long-time and passionate supporter of Teenage Cancer Trust in Scotland. As one of our earliest fundraising champions in the country, John was absolutely essential in our charity’s expansion into Scotland.

He’s a tireless advocate and fundraiser for specialised teenage and young adult cancer care and we are extremely proud to see him recognised with this well-deserved honour.

To reach and support every young person with cancer in Scotland, Teenage Cancer Trust needs to raise about £1 million each year.