A Milngavie couple have raised £18,000 for a brain tumour charity to help them to deal with the tragic loss of their 32-year-old son.
Rachel and Donald McKie from Craigash Road have held several fundraising events for The Brain Tumour Charity over the past eight years in tribute to their son Graham.
This includes £1,118 from a barbecue at Mugdock Country Park on Saturday, September 6 when over 60 people attended.
Graham was a perfectly healthy young man when he suddenly developed a very sore head with sickness on December 26 in 2005 that lasted several days.
After three visits to two local hospitals Graham was diagnosed with a migraine. With continued sickness and rapid weight loss he consulted his own doctor and he was admitted that day into The Western Infirmary where many tests were carried out.
The following day he was transferred to The Southern General Hospital which deals with brain conditions and the doctors discovered that Graham needed major surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. A biopsy was also taken at this stage, and six days later it was found that he was suffering from an inoperable and incurable Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain tumour.
His dad, Donald, said: “It didn’t really ‘sink in’ until we were asked if there were any events happening later in the year that could be brought forward so Graham could attend them.
“Graham amazed us with his tremendous positive attitude, calmness, and an amazing ‘peace’, and he helped all of us to ‘hold-it-all-together’ which was extremely difficult as we couldn’t really believe this was happening to him and to us.
“He showed such tremendous bravery and courage and simply asked if he could go home, which was granted the following day.
“Graham, who had been a Volvo technician/car mechanic for 16 years, was upset when his driving license was immediately taken away from him but again, he dealt with it and there was no lack of help for transport for anywhere he needed to go.”
His sister Sharyn brought her wedding forward from November to May and Graham performed his role as Usher with grace and dignity.
Earlier on in his illness he’d talked with his family about fundraising to help other sufferers and told them they would know when the time was right for that.
And it wasn’t until Graham had died that they held their first event in October 2006 at Allander Evangelical Church.
Graham’s mum Rachel added: “We were spurred on as a family to raise much needed funds for research and awareness to aid a cure for this dreadful disease that claimed his young life, and the lives of so many others under the age of 40 each year, and it is on the increase.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response we receive each year from family and friends and local businesses who have helped us reach this amazing amount.
“We’d especially like thank our daughters, Sharyn and Jaclyn and their partners, Peter and Stephen and our three grandsons, Jack, Scott and Kris who helped us organise this barbecue - we could never have done it without their love and support.
“Our grateful thanks also go to many family and friends for their generous donations and Morton’s Bakers, McDonalds, Farmfoods, Iceland and Tesco who also contributed.”
Donald added: “As a family we are blessed and feel very privileged that Graham was part of our lives, albeit for such a short time, but we thank God for his life, and for the way he ‘touched’ all our lives.”
Graham’s www.justgiving.com/Donald-McKie/ page remains open until the end of September, as the 18th would have been his birthday. All donations welcome.