Campaign to help cancer patient

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Fundraiser brings in R100 000 so far for young Squires

THANKFUL FOR SUPPORT: Friends of the Squires family, from left, Johan and Bronwyn van Zyl, with Amy Bennett (nee Squires) and her father Reay Squires of Rocky Ridge Farm, Dee Squires and Dave Cameron at a meeting at the Port Alfred Masonic Hall last Friday evening. Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES
THANKFUL FOR SUPPORT: Friends of the Squires family, from left, Johan and Bronwyn van Zyl, with Amy Bennett (nee Squires) and her father Reay Squires of Rocky Ridge Farm, Dee Squires and Dave Cameron at a meeting at the Port Alfred Masonic Hall last Friday evening. Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

THERE has been an outpouring of support for a local young man, Blake Squires, after receiving the dreadful news on June 1 that he had testicular cancer, which has spread through his body.

“Blake’s doctor sent him to Port Elizabeth for tests after he was complaining of backache and severe stomach ache the week before. After numerous blood tests and scans, they found a small lesion in one testicle and many more lesions in his intestines,” Squires’ mother, Dee said.

The cancer diagnosis rocked the 23-year-old farmer’s son and his family, and his aunt Karen Cottingham started an online fundraising campaign for his continued treatment. This week they had reached over 1 000 members and raised a sum over R100 000. Squires was initially scheduled for 18-weeks of intensive chemotherapy and doctors intimated he should make a full recovery. But halfway through the treatment, and following a few more tests, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer which has spread to his lungs.

Friends of the family rallied in support, and a meeting was held at the Port Alfred Masonic Hall last Friday evening to discuss plans to fund Squires’ ongoing treatment.

At the meeting it was proposed to hold a rave party with a DJ, to be sponsored by Anthony de Bruin at the Lounge on August 26. There will be prego rolls for sale and volunteers are needed to meet at the Masonic Hall and proceed to the Lounge at 8pm on the night of the rave.

The Port Alfred Fishing Academy has donated R500 and challenged businesses to match – or better it. The prize for the largest donation will be a deep sea fishing charter or a weekend on a houseboat.

Chris Burke of Burksies at the Duck Pond Centre, is planning to run a raffle, and hairdresser, Bridget Hyde, is donating a hair-do.

There were many more supporters of Squires at the meeting, and one is writing a play for Squires and collecting ticket sales on his behalf, while another supporter is putting up a bass guitar for auction, where all proceeds will go toward the Squires fund.

Johan van Zyl of the What’s On booklet and member of Round Table, said this year the Kowie Carnival and the Engela Neethling Boerewors Competition, which has been going for a number of years, would become a potjiekos competition.

Around 20 entrants will be selling potjiekos on September 24, and the proceeds will go to Squires.

There is also a Go-Fund-Me drive, which has been created for Squires at                     www.gofundme. com/blakesquiresfund.

Those wishing to donate can enter their credit card number and the Rand amount they wish to donate, and this will go straight into the bank account opened with a registered charity number on Squires’ behalf.

Finally, Lodge Master Francois Vosloo, said he would donate a raffle prize of a two-night stay at Nkwazi Island, which must be taken before the end of November.

There is also a Facebook group, blakesquires cancerfund2016, where many more initiatives are mentioned, including a proposed Amazing Race to take place in Bathurst, and organised by Sheila Handley.

For anyone wishing to make a direct donation, the account details are as follows: Blake Squires, First National Bank, Port Alfred, Current Account, 623 167 49946, Sort Code – 250655

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