Eddie and Irene Toal

Eddie and Irene Toal

Eddie Toal lost his wife Irene to breast cancer in 2011 after a gruelling three year battle she waged with courage, determination and, incredibly, lots of laughter.  ”Irene was not only the love of my life,” he says, “She was the bravest person I’ve ever met and was just 48 years old when she passed away.”

During treatment, Irene had nothing but praise for the doctors, nurses and staff at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.  It was her dying wish to help other patients attending the hospital.

As a semi-professional jazz singer, Eddie decided to raise money for Beatson Cancer Charity by making a memorial CD.

“Irene had always wanted me to make a CD but I never got round to it”, he recalls.

Now, after enlisting the help of some award winning British jazzmen, he’s put together an album entitled ‘Always In My Heart’.

“It’s all songs about love,” he explains. “The wistful yearning for it, the joy of finding it, the day-to-day year-by-year enjoyment of it, and the agony of losing it.”

All proceeds and royalties from the CD are going to the Beatson Cancer Charity, earmarked for patient care to help provide comfort and support to patients and their families attending the Beatson.

Unusually, Eddie gives away the CD free at gigs, asking people to make an on-line donation to ‘the Irene Toal Tribute Fund’.

“People are inherently generous to charities,” Eddie added.  “I’m hoping the CD will earn more this way.  All I want is the pleasure of seeing charity donations racking up under a banner raised in Irene’s name.

“My memorial is not exactly the Taj Mahal but it’s the best I can do to remember her.  And it’s for a great cause.”

Eddie’s CD ‘Always In My Heart’ can be obtained by contacting the Beatson Cancer Charity on 0141 212 0505 and ask for Supporter Care.  A download version can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other platforms.

Irene’s tribute fund – now featured on our website – has already raised more than £5,000.  We’d like to say a huge thanks to Eddie for all of his support.

Bill Chambers

Brian John Chalmers

Brian John Chalmers, or ‘The Prof’, as he was affectionately known by his friends, family and colleagues, passed away in 2013 at the age of 78 after a short battle with a rare cancer called metastatic paraganglioma.

Following Brian’s death, his family wanted to do something positive and meaningful in his memory. They decided to establish a Beatson Cancer Charity Tribute Fund in Brian’s name to help improve treatments and care for patients with cancer.

At Brian’s funeral, his family requested donations to the fund in lieu of flowers. Since then, Brian’s tribute fund has enabled family, friends and colleagues to commemorate Brian’s life and to raise money for Beatson Cancer Charity in his name.

Brian’s son, Dr Anthony Chalmers, is a professor of clinical oncology at the Beatson. As a board member, he has also been heavily involved in establishing Beatson Cancer Charity. “I’m sure Dad would wholeheartedly approve”, he said. “Dad’s tribute fund will enable the charity to plan future campaigns to improve outcomes for patients with cancer, and will be a fitting memorial to an exceptional life.”

Many thanks to the Chalmers family for all their support.