Fundraiser and football tournament launched for The Rowans Hospice that supports a Portsmouth man, 28, with incurable cancer alongside NHS Palliative Care Team

COMPASSIONATE friends and colleagues have rallied around a charity football tournament – fundraising for an organisation supporting a young Portsmouth man with incurable cancer.

Friday, 5th August 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2022, 9:23 am

Dozens are set to attend the event in Fareham this weekend, with hundreds of pounds worth of donations already raised for the Rowans Hospice.

The Solent NHS specialist palliative care team have offered extensive cancer treatment and support to Callum Lynch, 28, with Rowans working alongside them.

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Callum Lynch was diagnosed with Insulinoma. He and his partner, Beck Darby, are organising a football tournament in Fareham and have been supported throughout by the NHS Palative Care Team, Rowans Hospice, friends, family, and employers from Cubbit and West and Jeffries and Dibbens estate agents. Pictured: Callum Lynch and Beck Darby with employers of Cubbit and West estate agents at Southsea on August 2, 2022. Picture: Habibur Rahman.

Abbie Tallack, 34, organised the event with Mr Lynch’s partner, Becky Darby, 28 – launching a fundraiser for the charity.

They hope to raise awareness for young people affected by life shortening illnesses.

Ms Darby, of Southsea, has been emotionally moved by the response.

The senior estate agent at Cubitt and West told The News:It’s been overwhelming really.

A fundraiser for the Rowans Hospice has been organised. Organisers Abbie Tallack and Becky Darby hope to raise awareness regarding young people's experiences with life-shortening illnesses. Picture: Habibur Rahman.

‘The amount of people who wanted to come and support on the day is more than we ever imagined.’

Ms Tallack, of Gosport and colleague of Ms Darby, said she was staggered by the attention it has received.

She added: ‘Since we got the ball rolling, it has gone absolutely bonkers.

‘We’ve been rallying around everybody, and had some wonderful support from our colleagues in the office, friends, family, and local businesses.’

Dozens of people are set to attend the tournament in Fareham, with hundreds of pounds already raised in charity donations and raffle prizes. Pictured: Callum Lynch and Beck Darby with employers of Cubbit and West and Jeffries estate agents at Southsea on August 2, 2022. Picture: Habibur Rahman.

Mr Lynch was diagnosed with Insulinoma shortly before his 25th birthday.

Rounds of chemotherapy treatment – and upcoming course of radiotherapy – leave the avid Manchester United fan fatigued and nauseous.

Ms Darby said the symptoms can be volatile at times. She added: ‘Plans have been hard to organise, because you don’t know what the next day is going to bring.

‘He deals with it all amazingly well, and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t deal with it as well as I have been.’

The NHS palliative care team offer the young couple medical and emotional support 24/7, even through successive Covid-19 lockdowns.

‘It’s been devastating,’ Ms Darby added. ‘We never expected to hear those words when we went into the hospital.

‘Especially about someone of his age and being so young. Despite that, he’s always been upbeat about it, takes anything on that’s thrown at him, and supports everyone around him.’

Over 170 players and supporters are set to attend the tournament this Sunday.

More than £2,000 worth of raffle prizes have been donated, including free Fareham Leisure Centre memberships and meal vouchers for Eden, Gunwharf Quays, the Square Cow pub, Wickham, to name a few.

Work colleagues at Jeffries and Dibbens and Cubitt and West, who Mr Lynch and Ms Darby work for respectively, have supported them throughout their journey.

Ms Darby said her partner is gutted not to be playing, but is confident of winning the penalty shootout and delighted the money raised will help others affected.

‘It’ll be good to have a day out which we haven’t been able to do for a long time,’ she added.

‘He likes that we’re not just doing that for him, but for the whole community.’

Ms Tallack said: ‘There’s going to be a lot of love on the day.’

‘People’s vision for life-shortening illnesses such as cancer is towards the older generation.

‘What’s brought it to life is how young Becky and Callum are, and the difficulties they’re going through.

‘To be able to raise that awareness within our age bracket is very important.’