Stenhousemuir cancer fighter nearing £50,000 fundraising total for Maggie’s Forth Valley

A dad-of-two is determined to hit his next fundraising milestone to give back to the service which has supported him throughout his cancer fight.

Since being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer last April, Cammy Shanks (59) has helped to bring in almost £50,000 for Maggie’s Forth Valley by hosting a range of events and spreading word on all of the good work that goes on at the Larbert-based charity.

The Stenhousemuir resident was the guest of honour as friends put on a Burns Supper in his name last Friday that added a further £3000 to the pot.

Held at Larbert Bowling Club, the event was organised by Sean Pearson — who used to play football with former police dog handler Cammy — and musician Dougie Smith.

Pictured: Grant Williamson; Derek McMorrow; Dougie Smith; Jennifer Newlands Buchan; Sean Pearson; Cameron Shanks; Sammy McGivern and Richard Smith. Front; Megan Salmond and Jack Salmond, Alloa Bowmore Pipe Band both from Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen

Dozens turned out to show their support as guest speakers, including former Falkirk FC player Sammy McGivern, took it in turns to entertain the crowd.

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Having retired from the force after 43 years’ service last month, Cammy is eager to make new memories with wife Claire, children Kayleigh (31) and Kieran (26), step-children Rhys (31) and Linzie (29) and ten-month-old granddaughter Emily.

However, he’s also keen to break through the £50,000 barrier as a thank you to the staff at Maggie’s for all the help they’ve given him, his family and his friends.

Cammy said: “It was really nice of Sean to contact me in the first place and the plan was to get it up to about £50,000.

“We’ve got about £49,000 just now so we’re going to have another wee thing at some stage.

“I was talking to Brian Flynn at Behind The Wall and I was thinking of coming out of retirement and doing a wee disco to try to reach £50,000.

“Dougie Smith has done 60 events in the last 12 months. He’s a musician but he also does the toast to the haggis.

“He has been doing that for years and you can see he’s brilliant at it. There were a couple of other musicians and the guest speakers were brilliant.

“Sammy McGivern was really nice and down to earth.

“It’s the Cammy Shanks Burns Night but that was the first Burns Night I have been to and I absolutely loved it!”

He added: “I would just like to thank everyone who went. The whole top table were fantastic.

“I think everybody had a brilliant night.”

Last week’s Burns Supper proved so popular a 2021 version has already been confirmed for February 26.

Sean said: “Cammy came back to mine afterwards and he seemed to enjoy it.

“I’ve had good feedback and we’re hoping to have a sportsman’s dinner in the summer.”

Camelon Juniors have also been in discussions with long-time supporter Cammy about organising a sportsman’s dinner to boost the fundraising total further.