• Fri. May 20th, 2022

Heartbreaking story behind Scottish childhood cancer charity and devastating reason for its creation

Calum’s Cabin is a charity that has benefited many Scots affected by cancer.

The organization offers two peaceful retreats on the Isle of Bute for young cancer patients and their families.

Since 2007, young people living with this heartbreaking disease can come to scenic Rothesay for a relaxing break from reality with their loved ones.

But a heartbreaking loss in the city is the story behind the start of Calum’s Cabin 15 years ago.



Calum Speirs came up with the idea for Calum’s Cabin before he died

The family who created the retreat were left destitute after the death of their 12-year-old son.

Calum Speirs was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor just days after his symptoms were noticed.

The schoolboy died just over a year later, on February 16, 2007.

Calum’s wish was for a holiday retreat to be built near their home where children with cancer could come and make memories.

Following his tragic passing, Calum’s Cabin was created.



Jenna with her parents Caroline and Duncan in front of Calum’s cabin

Fifteen years later, the charity has helped hundreds of families enduring the grief of this cruel disease.

To mark their anniversary, Calum’s mother, Caroline, released a poignant statement.

She said: “February 16, 2007, the day that changed us forever.

“Fifteen years after Duncan, Jenna and I had to say goodbye to our brave, loving, funny, mischievous, intelligent, kind, sweet and inspiring son and twin brother.

“How can it be 15 years?

“The pain in our hearts grows every day.

“How did we manage to survive 15 years (5478 days)?

“So much has changed, so much has happened, but we know you are with us every step of the way.

Caroline added: “Fifteen years ago today, the Cabane de Calum became a reality and so many families were helped, supported and guided.

“Calum’s Cabin, as you all know, was Calum’s idea, he wanted to keep us all busy and keep helping others.

“Today and every day we are a family of four, always have been, always will be.

“Calum Speirs, we love and miss you with all our heart, to the moon and back, always and forever.”

Calum’s Cabin has expanded since opening, getting a second cabin closer to downtown Rothesay.

Jenna was crowned our Sunday Mail Great Scot of 2008 for her dedication to making her brother’s dream come true.

In 2017, she paid tribute to her late twin brother to mark the 10th anniversary.

Brave Jenna said, “Calum will always be a part of me.

“We are two halves of the same whole and when he died I knew I had to go on living for both of us, working twice as hard, having twice the fun.

“He was an inspiration to me and everyone who knew him, and he thought of others until the end.



Calum Speirs and his twin sister Jenna

“He may only have been here 12 years, but he’s inspired more people in that time than most do in a lifetime.

“It’s like he knows his time is short and he has to put everything away.

“Now, thanks to his legacy, Calum’s name is never far from people’s lips and even those who have never met him feel like he is a part of their lives.”

Calum’s legacy lives on as followers online have saluted him, his family and Calum’s Cabin for all they have accomplished over the years.

One wrote: “What a legacy Calum left behind and what an inspiration you all are to all these families going through the same thing.

“He would be so proud of you.”

Another added: “Thinking of you all and remembering Calum.



Calum's Hut
Calum’s Hut

“What a special boy he was and what a legacy, a legacy that has helped countless children and their families.”

A third commented: “It was an absolute honor to meet Calum and yourselves.

“Calum has been such an inspiration to so many people.

“Wishing you all the love and peace you all deserve.”

For more information on Calum’s Cabin, visit their official website.

To support Calum’s Cabin, visit the ‘Donate’ page.

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