A TRANENT father-of-five with terminal cancer has raised nearly £1,400 following the devastating news that his mother has been diagnosed with a similar disease.

Johnnie Meechan, 43, of Coalgate Avenue, was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour, also called NET cancer, in his liver and stomach five years ago.

In his latest fundraising venture, Johnnie launched an Edinburgh derby raffle between Hibernian FC and Heart of Midlothian FC to raise awareness of NET cancer.

Johnnie, an avid fundraiser, took time off from raising money after his mother was diagnosed with cancer, but returned to raise £1,335 last week.

He said that helping people was how he coped with living with cancer.

Johnnie told the Courier: “I have a lot on my own plate with my illness, but I am trying to keep pushing and doing good things.

“Then my mum was diagnosed with a very similar illness, which was so out of the blue and so unexpected, it was astonishing – I still do not think it has sunk in.

“She is undergoing extensive therapy at the minute, so I took the best part of four months off to try and get my head straight and then I thought I need to get moving again.

“The only real way to do that is to feel positive and to help other people. That is how I see it.”

The fundraising derby offered standout prizes such as autographed strips, framed photographs and match-worn boots.

East Lothian Courier: The prizes, which included signed autographed football tops from Hibs FC and Hearts FC, were raffled off in an online Edinburgh Derby last week

The Hibs prizes were: an autographed Hibs home top; an autographed framed photo of John McGinn; and match boots signed by Martin Boyle.

The Hearts prizes were: an autographed Hearts home top; an autographed Hearts football; and a fourball golf day out at Musselburgh Golf Club.

Runners-up prizes were a box of 12 craft beers donated by Belhaven Brewery; and two bottles of gin.

Johnnie said: “The Hibs side of things I got directly from the club; my cousin was a goalkeeper and still has good contacts at the club, so he is really good in sourcing some prizes for fundraising.”

Raffle winners were drawn on the Johnnie’s Journey Facebook page on Saturday.

Johnnie added: “You have a lot of people that were there for the prizes, but you have a lot of people who want to help as well.

“It is a case of trying to keep doing good things; I have people like my mother now who is in a very similar situation who need help, whether that be financial or just something to help other local people.

“There are lots of sad stories in East Lothian at the moment, young children who have been horribly diagnosed with cancer, so if we can help people like that then fantastic.”

Johnnie said that he was delighted with the results of the fundraising derby.

He added: “It was a relatively quick event, even though there was a lot of work done behind the scenes to raise what we did.

“The Hibees came out on top by raising £700, to the Jambos who raised £635.

“More importantly, we raised £1,335 to go help other cancer patients.

“It is further funds that help me not only continue raising NET cancer awareness but also help others.

“We have lots of big things planned in the near future which we are really excited to get going.”

Donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jjderbyhibs or justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jjderbyhearts