Ian was born and educated in Glasgow. He graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 1977 and was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1988.
Ian was successfully treated at the Beatson and it was his desire to give something back for the excellent treatment and care which he received which led him, with Alan Kilpatrick, to set up Friends of the Beatson.
Ian said: “It all started for me in 1988 when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“It was that time I met my consultant to-be, Martin Russell.
“I chivvied Martin to say ‘I really would like to do something, I would like to put something back.
“It was a while after that and a lot more chivvying that produced a meeting in the old Beatson and there were a few other people who clearly had expressed the same sort of sentiments.
“I emerged from that meeting as the chairman of something, I didn’t know what it was, but that something very quickly became ‘Friends of the Beatson’.”
Ian discussed how Alan Kilpatrick, also co-founder and director of Friends of the Beatson and Beatson Cancer Charity, got involved.
Ian said: “When I came out of the meeting, I remember phoning Alan Kilpatrick. I told him of this new idea. The old Beatson was pretty decrepit.
“Both Alan and I knew that the care we got was absolutely fantastic, but the facilities were dreadful.
“A lot of the fundraising and funding that we did was directed at getting essentials for patients.”
In 2010, discussions began which, four years later, created Beatson Cancer Charity.
Ian said: “We realised we had something that was very important so we wanted to maximise the impact of that.
“Fortunately the directors or the trustees of the Beatson Oncology Centre fund saw it the same way and the process of forming the Beatson Cancer Charity out of the two charities took us about four years.
“Elizabeth Kennedy actually described it as the longest running corporate finance transaction in history – well it was worth it, because it’s produced the goods.”
Ian continues to sit on our board of Non-Executive Directors, alongside co-founder Alan Kilpatrick.
Ian spoke about some of the support they’ve had from others outside the charity over the years.
Ian said: “We all had our reasons for being part of Friends of the Beatson, whether we were former cancer patients, as Alan, Gordon and I were, or had relatives or friends who had been cancer patients, as Elizabeth had, and we all simply wanted to ‘give something back’ to the Beatson and its patients.
“That was also the case with Brian Donald, the sports broadcaster who made contact with us in 1996 and, although never a Director of Friends of the Beatson as such, became very much ‘one of us’.
“Brian not only expertly chaired all of our Annual Sporting Dinners, apart from the first, but also worked closely and energetically with us as a key part of our team in the year-long planning of the Dinners.
“We really all worked very well as a team – getting on with each other and getting on with the job.”
Ian says it’s fantastic to see the public have got behind the charity to support it over the years.
He said: “The public support for the charity is fantastic.
“The support we get at runs and marathons and so much more is great.
“It’s now a brand which is very well-known because of the very good things that it does and the impact it’s had.
“I’m very happy with what Beatson Cancer Charity has achieved and very glad we took the decision to form it, and to see it having developed is very satisfying.”
On behalf of everyone at Beatson Cancer Charity, we would like to say a massive thank you to Ian for the continued support he has shown the charity over the years.