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Father-of-two who raised thousands for charity passes away from rare cancer

Father-of-two who raised thousands for charity passes away from rare cancer

A Stonehaven man whose fundraising efforts have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity has passed away after battling a rare form of cancer.

Tom Bruce’s fundraising efforts alongside wife Patricia have helped raise over £22,000 for charity over the past five years after starting a neighbourhood initiative to decorate houses with festive lights, inflatables and statues for good causes at Christmas time.

Charities such as CLIC Sargent and Cancer Research UK have benefitted from the cheerful initiative, with the residents of Malcolm’s Way most recently raising £10,000 for the campaign to bring a dialysis machine to the seaside town.

But following the display in December 2014, the 43-year-old was diagnosed with pseudomyxoma peritonei, a rare cancer of the appendix which is difficult to detect.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Bruce and his family were told the cancer was terminal and he sadly passed away at Roxburghe House in Aberdeen on Monday, leaving behind wife Patricia and children Melanie, seven, and Daniel, 15 months.

  (Patricia Bruce)
via STV via STV

Determined to keep supporting good causes, he told his wife that one of his wishes was to use his name in order to give something back to the palliative care centre.

And Mr Bruce’s widow has ensured his legacy will live on, by setting up a fundraising page in aid of the centre, raising a staggering £6000 of the £10,000 target in just 24 hours.

Ms Bruce said: "Roxburghe House is an amazing place which people may not know that much about as fortunately they will never have to use it. But if you have to go, it is a blessed place, they are so supportive and made it possible to cope."

Blown away by the support of friends and family donating in her husband’s name, she added: "It has been overwhelming. Just last week we had been talking about how much we had raised before and to be at 60% of our target for Roxburgh House is really amazing."

  (Graham Dargie Photography)
via STV via STV

Ms Bruce added that she hoped to raise awareness of pseudomyxoma peritonei in her husband’s memory.

She said: "There are only two centres with treatment in London and Manchester. It really is a horrible cancer and 1000 people a year are diagnosed, which is a really small number compared with other cancers."

Mr Bruce, whose pride and joy was a VW Campervan named Velma, will be transported to his funeral, which takes place on Thursday, in his beloved vehicle.

There will be a collection at the service for the Roxburghe House fund.

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