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Colin Montgomerie launches cancer center in mother's memory

Colin Montgomerie in front of the Elizabeth Montgomerie building at Maggie's Cancer Caring Center in Aberdeen, Scotland.

July 4, 2013

By Morag Lindsay, The (Aberdeen) Press & Journal

This article has been reposted courtesy of The (Aberdeen) Press & Journal.

A young Colin with his mother, Elizabeth.

ABERDEEN, Scotland- He may be one of Scotland’s greatest living sportsmen – but when Colin Montgomerie stepped through the doors of Aberdeen’s new cancer center yesterday it was as a loving son, humbled by what had been achieved in his mother’s name.

The 2010 Ryder Cup captain, who lost his mother, Elizabeth, to the disease in 1991, has spearheaded the £3 million pound campaign to bring a Maggie’s center to the north-east.  He paid a special visit to the building at Foresterhill with his family yesterday and thanked some of the supporters whose hard work and generosity had made it possible.

“It is humbling to stand in this reality, which was once a dream,” he told them.

"The support we have had from the north-east community over the past three years has been superb, and to have done this during the worst recession since the 1920s is quite incredible.”

The center, to be named the Elizabeth Montgomerie building, is due to be handed over to Maggie’s at the end of this month.

Staff will offer practical and emotional comfort to some of the 3,500 people in Grampian who are diagnosed with cancer every year – as well as their friends and families.

About 800 patients and their loved ones are expected to use the center in the first year, rising to 1,600 by 2017.

Guests at yesterday’s preview included representatives from companies such as BG Group and Apache, which have both donated about £320,000, and members of a 27-strong group of north-east trekkers who raised £130,000 scaling Kilimanjaro last month.

Catering was provided by Craig Wilson, owner and chef of Eat on the Green at Udny, who previously gathered more than £15,000 when he cooked in every major city in Scotland in 24 hours.

Andrew Anderson, center head of Maggie’s Edinburgh at the capital’s Western General Hospital, told visitors that the center would become an “absolutely essential part of cancer care and cancer support.”

His team helped users secure £2 million in unpaid benefits last year, while clinical psychologists and other experts and volunteers helped people find the emotional strength to deal with their diagnosis and all that it entailed.

“Most importantly, we give people space to be listened to, and what you have been able to create here is quite exceptional,” he said.

“It is a beautiful, beautiful space.”

For more information about the center or the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation, please visit elizabethmontgomerie.org.

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