History of Calums Cabin
In January 2006, Calum was diagnosed with a inoperable brain tumour. Is was like a bolt out of the blue and was to change our world forever.
From then, Calums fought tooth and nail to beat the tumour, but it wasn’t to be, and we lost Calum on the 16th February 2007 (13 months later). Throughout those 13 months, Calum was an inspiration to all who knew and met him. Calum always laughed and smiled, and tried where possible to make a joke out of all situations. Calum’s main priority was always to think of others.
We as a family packed as much as we could into those 13 months, meeting a variety of celebrities, going to places we could never have imagined going and meeting a lot of people that would help us in the future.
Calum listened and heard many sad stories while in hospital, and realised that we lived in a beautiful part of the world. We as a family decided to start fundraising to purchase a caravan to allow families dealing with a child with cancer to come to Bute. This fundraising was put on hold as Calums condition worsened, and we just hoped we would do it when Calum got better. Sadly this was not to be, and on the 21st February 2007 we had our first collection at Calums Service, to purchase what we called “Calum’s Caravan”. £3428 was raised , we had started.
The next day we visited a caravan that was for sale, at the cost of £20,000. A long way to go we thought. In the adjoining field we saw Cabins being built and asked the price “Oh in excess of £90,000”, we were advised “way out of your grasp” and maybe that was the push that we needed. From that day on we fundraised and fundraised, wrote letters, made many phone calls and got so much support from so many people. Calum was driving this from above, we knew that because so many doors were being opened for us.
By June 2007, we had enough money to buy the cabin, how amazing was that, but no that was not no to be the case, we were advised a better option was to purchase a piece of ground!!
How on earth were we to go about doing that? In the July we spoke to Lord Bute and after many meetings, we convince him how committed we were. On the 15th December 2007, Lord Bute agreed to lease us a piece of land at the Straad, for £1 per annum. Great we thought, we will purchase a cabin and put it on he ground, but no, Lord Bute wanted a proper architecturally build cabin.
In January 2008, we met with Brian Stewart who was to become our architect, he drew up plans , submitted them and by April 2008 we had planning permission.
We thought building would commence in June/July but when the initial quotations came in they were way over our budget. Back to he drawing board, changes were made and many contractors donated of their services and time.
In September 2008, the first spade was put into the ground and the foundations were laid. The kit arrived in October and exactly 16 weeks later, Calums Cabin was ready for John Amabile to come in and work his magic on the interior.
Exactly two years since we lost Calum, “Calums Cabin”, was welcoming its first family. We are totally amazed at everyone generosity, that we managed to get from the initial £20,000 for a caravan, to what needed to be raised to build “Calums Cabin”.
Since we opened, we have been full, this in one way is good, because the last thing we would want is for the cabin to be empty, but most of all is sad because it shows that demand is so high. We continue to fundraise for running costs and we thought that was going to be us.
However, since demand was so great, in November 2011, we purchased what was to become known as Calums Cabin Cottage, this was opened in March 2012 and has been full also since. So like Calum always loved playing Monopoly, we hope that in the years to come we will have many Calums Cabin’s and Cottages to help families deal with a sad situation like we had to.
“Calums Cabin” is a lasting memory and we are fully aware that if it wasn’t for Calum paying the ultimate price and Jenna for being behind us all the time, we wouldn’t be here today.
Thank you to everyone for their support, we have come a long way and I am sure God willing have a long way to go.