Doctor runs marathon for charity to remember Chris

A charity fundraising drive has been organised in memory of a former teacher and Heriot-Watt University graduate who has died of cancer aged just 31.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th April 2019, 6:00 am
Heriot-Watt graduate Chris Fairley has died at the age of 31
Heriot-Watt graduate Chris Fairley has died at the age of 31

Tributes have been paid to former Edinburgh Evening News employee Chris Fairley, who left the publishing industry and went on to become a highly-successful and pupular mathematics teacher at Kirkcaldy High School until June 2018, following his diagnosis.

Medical experts first told Chris that he had an aggressive form of Ewing sarcoma in his pelvis last May and he bravely continued to work as long as possible despite being in a great deal of pain. His diagnosis came seven months after he first sought medical help for his symptoms.

Kirkcaldy High School rector, Derek Allan, said: “All of us at Kirkcaldy High School are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Chris’ death. He was an excellent teacher, so skilled and kind, and a favourite with many of his students.

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“He was also such a lovely guy and a dear friend to so many here. It’s tragic that he had his life yet to live and I know that he wanted to commit his all to inspiring others ... it’s what the best of teachers do, and Chris was one of them.

“We are thinking of his family and hoping they can find strength and comfort from knowing he will be so sorely missed.

Chris had previously worked for the publishers of the Edinburgh Evening News.

During his time at Heriot-Watt he worked as a waiter at the Royal Burgess golf club and lived in Corstorphine. After his diagnosis he underwent several rounds of treatment but died in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre on March 25 surrounded by his family.

Now his parents Alastair, whose family are from Edinburgh, and Helen, along with sisters Lisa and Lindsay, and girlfriend Kirsty, are urging people to donate to the fundraising being carried out by Dr Jeff White, a consultant medical oncologist at the Beatson West who cared for Chris.

He is running the London Marathon on April 28 with money raised going to Sarcoma UK to help others like Chris who are diagnosed with this condition.

Ewing sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that affects bones or the tissue around bones.

It mainly affects children and young people, with most cases diagnosed in people aged ten to 20.

It’s more common in males than females and affected bones may also be weaker and more likely to break. Some people are diagnosed after they have a fracture.

Ewing sarcoma can be difficult to diagnose because it’s quite rare and the symptoms can be similar to lots of other conditions.

The funeral service for Chris takes place today at Falkirk Crematorium.