A CHARITY fund started by a student who later died after battling a brain tumour has reached more than half a million pounds.
Brave Allister Boyd raised almost £200,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent over four years – continuing his work when he knew he was dying.
Since the Caledonian University student passed away in April 2009, when he was 20, his family and friends including parents Robert, 59, and Kim, 55, and brother Russell, 20, from Stair in Ayrshire, have continued fundraising effort, and the appeal is just short of the £600,000 mark.
Their latest event was an Arctic trek.
Robert said: "In Allister's name now £590,000 has been raised, and by the end of the year there's a few things happening like the Caledonian University Student Association Allister Boyd Ball so we should hit £600,000.
"It's tremendous. We started off to raise £10,000. You feel good that you've done it and that he's still there.
"We know that Allister raised all the money for Yorkhill and there's an ongoing requirement to keep it up to date.
"We feel an affinity to that because Allister was so dedicated to raising the money.
"The support from his friends and acquaintances who have come forward and said 'I'll do something' has all been very heartening."
Kim, 55, said: "It's fantastic. If he hadn't started it we probably wouldn't have been doing anything.
"You've got to carry on and do your bit. It does help you cope very much so.
"Hopefully it will help other teenagers. We are carrying on the good work he started."
The couple, who run the Poet's Corner coffee shop in Robert Burn's village of Alloway in Ayrshire were joined on the fundraising trip to Northern Sweden by Allister's friends Allison Thorburn, Emma Vernon, Sarah Jane Galbraith and Will Galbraith.
They spent four days dogsledding across frozen rivers and lakes.
They even saw the Northern Lights, and the trip raised £32,000 to be split between the two charities.
Robert said: "It was an amazing experience – Allister would have loved it."
Robert has now got the all-clear after being diagnosed with kidney and bladder cancer just five months after losing his son.
Two years ago he had a kidney removed by keyhole surgery in Bristol and then, a few months later, went to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa for the appeal.
Robert said: "They said if I had the kidney removed it was going to be a six-month recovery.
"So we found somebody in Bristol who could do it keyhole and I had it removed because he said I would be back on the road in six or seven weeks."
Other recent fundraising events have included a 'Blingo' night for 200 ladies in a marquee near their home which saw bingo games combined with dinner as well as entertainment.
Allister was diagnosed with cancer when he was 16. He battled the illness for more than three years and as well as raising cash, he played a central role in the formation of Scotland's first Youth Cancer Forum and also fronted a BBC TV Lifeline appeal for TCT.
He was treated at specialist TCT units at Yorkhill Sick Kids Hospital and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, and raised more than £70,000 towards a new at Yorkhill.
He was later forced to give up his business studies course at Caledonian University, but was presented with an honorary fellowship from the university alongside pop star Midge Ure.
The university later set up The Allister Boyd Award For Contribution To Health And Wellbeing In A Leadership Role which recognised Allister's determination to help others.
The fourth Allister Boyd memorial ball will be held in November.