Oct 2 2008 By Frank Hurley
Illness can't stop student's charity drive
BRAVE teenage student Allister Boyd organised a massive thank you party for medics, family and friends the day he was told his brain tumour would kill him.
Allister, 19, who had an operation to remove the tumour and chemo therapy three years ago, faced shattering news from his specialist.
The Glasgow student was told there was nothing more to be done to save him because the tumour had returned.
Courageously he decided to organise a big bash at his home village of Stair, Ayrshire, thanking those who had tried to save his life - and to raise money for his favourite cancer charities.
The party raised an incredible £80,000 - one donation of £40,000 from one businessman alone - for CLIC Sergeant and Teenage Cancer Trust, which plans to pay for a £350,000 specialist unit for 13 to 15-year-olds at Glasgow's Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
Allister said: "I am aware I am dying. I have good days and bad days.
"I just go out with my mates and enjoy life.
People worry too much and then you realise you never know what's going to happen.
"I want to raise as much money as I can by asking as many people as I can to help."
He jokes with his pals about the time he went to a night club when he was chatted up by gorgeous lap dancing girls when they learned of his fate.
Three of them led him away one at a time for private dances.
Allister added: "They were really, well sort of mothering me in a kind way, but it was great."
Now the Glasgow Caledonian student will receive the ultimate recognition from the university community by having a new Student Leaders Award named in his honour.
Allister said: "I am amazed the university wants an award in my name.
"It is incredible to think that you have made an impact like that, but I have always felt, 'what would you rather do smile or cry?'
"Of course I would rather live and enjoy myself but this has put life into a different perspective for me.
"Now I don't think what might have been. I think 'what can I do right now?'
His inspirational fundraising and awareness building activities for others and for his exceptional fundraising activities for teenage cancer care makes him a worthy winner of the award.
He has also worked hard to improve understanding and awareness of teenage cancer since his initial diagnosis.
This has involved him talking to doctors about caring for teenagers with cancer at a British Medical Association Conference.
He has also spoken with school pupils, fellow cancer patients, medical professionals, specialist fundraising groups and the general public about the unique needs of teenage cancer patients.
The Allister Boyd Award for Contribution to Health and Wellbeing in a Leadership Role will recognise Allister's achievements in 2009.
In the following years it will be awarded to a Glasgow Caledonian student who demonstrates a similarly outstanding contribution to the health and wellbeing of others.
University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies and Student President Paddy Has tie said: "Thanks to your continued efforts, you are an inspiration to all the university students, past, present and future."
The university's Student Leaders Programme formally recognises student volunteers who embody the university's values and commitment to the "common weal.
It's for those who have contributed to the student experience through Students' Association activities and leadership roles at university and who are active role models for other students and young people.
Charities Allister has raised funds for include children's cancer charity CLIC Sargeant and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Should you wish to help Allister continue to help young cancer sufferers donate via: www.justgiving.com/teenagecancertrustallisterboyd or via www.bmycharity.com/V2/allisterboydfund