Camelon organ transplant campaigner's funeral raises cash for hospice
An organ donation campaigner and Transplant Games competitor who lost his battle against cancer was laid to rest last week and raised over £700 for Strathcarron Hospice.
Martin Strang (49), from Camelon, underwent life a saving kidney transplant back in 2012 and went on to win medals in archery at the British Transplant Games.
Sadly he was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and lost his fight against the disease on August 3.
His funeral took place place on Tuesday, August 17 at Camelon Crematorium followed by internment at the Hills of Dunipace Cemetery.
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Michelle Howden, Martin’s sister, lives in Shetland but she came south in June to be with her brother at the end.
She said: “Martin’s funeral was everything he wanted and planned for – there was lots of feedback on social media and his elderly neighbour stopped us the following day and said he had never had so much fun at a funeral.
“I just hope Martin was looking down watching, he would have loved it – the Harley Davidson coffin and trike motorbike hearse.”
Martin was always thinking of others, even when he was in his last days.
Michelle said: “Martin chose donations to be made to Strathcarron Hospice instead of people giving flowers and although quite a few family members and friends do not live close by, they were able to donate.
"My parents and I were able to take £744.95 to Strathcarron Hospice the day after Martin’s funeral – all from the retiral collection – which the hospice was very grateful for.”
Martin’s colleagues at Edinburgh BNI, a business networking and referral organisation, who spoke at his funeral, have set up an online fund raising page in his memory and will be handing over proceeds raised to Strathcarron Hospice at the end of the month.
Martin was thankful for the extra years his transplant gave him and, even after his terminal cancer diagnosis, was still urging people not to opt out of organ donation under the new system which came into force in March.
Diagnosed with renal failure in 2008, Martin was on dialysis for four years – receiving treatment up to four times a week to stay alive.
Thankfully he had a kidney and pancreas transplant in 2012.
Back in March he told The Falkirk Herald: "Donating has always been a choice and it should remain a choice. Now, even if you have not ticked a box saying you want to donate your organs it’s not the case doctors will just assume you wanted to give them – there will still be conversations with the family and loved ones.
"I mean, we recycle our Coke cans so why not our organs? It gave me another chance at life. One person can save up to seven people’s lives. My own view is if we are not willing to give organs we should not be willing to receive them.”
Remarkably upbeat after receiving his cancer diagnoses, Martin, said he had promised to dedicate whatever time he had left to the memory of the donor who gave him his extra years, having become good friends with the man’s family over the years.