A TRANENT dad who is battling terminal cancer has made a sizeable donation to East Lothian Foodbank.

Johnnie Meechan, 44, founded charity group Johnnie’s Journey after being diagnosed with neuroendocrine (NET) cancer in 2016.

Since then, he has been raising awareness of the cancer and money for charities, both locally and internationally.

His latest festive fundraiser saw the charity purchase more than 700kg of food to be donated to East Lothian Foodbank.

East Lothian Courier: Johnnie helped deliver the food donation to the foodbank himselfJohnnie helped deliver the food donation to the foodbank himself

Every year, the dad-of-five takes part in a Christmas foodbank run, using funds raised by the charity to purchase food and deliver it directly to the foodbank.

Last month, the foodbank revealed that families were being forced to make “impossible decisions” on whether to heat their homes or feed the household.

Demand for the foodbank has reached such a level that the charity has outgrown its premises on Tranent’s Civic Square, and attempts are now being made to find a new, larger home.

Johnnie, who uses a wheelchair, took part in the foodbank run alongside friends and family last month to purchase the food and deliver it to the foodbank.

East Lothian Courier: Johnnie Meechan (centre) and his family made a sizeable donation to East Lothian FoodbankJohnnie Meechan (centre) and his family made a sizeable donation to East Lothian Foodbank

He said: “The team and I had the pleasure of helping East Lothian Foodbank again.

“We did the cash and carry run in the morning and added it to what we bought midweek.

“Every year the demand [for the foodbank] grows so please help if you are able.”

Johnnie admitted he feared he would not be able to carry out the run before Christmas due to a deterioration in his health, but said he could not sit by and not take part, as it “just didn’t feel right”.

Elaine Morrison, manager at the foodbank, said: “We wanted to give a big shoutout to Johnnie and the guys at Johnnie’s Journey, who dropped off a massive donation to us, as they’ve done for many years.

“Thank you to everyone involved. It means the world to us and those we support.”

East Lothian Courier: Sophie Walker, 16, has been battling cancer since she was 10 years oldSophie Walker, 16, has been battling cancer since she was 10 years old

On top of the donation to the foodbank, Johnnie’s Journey also made a £600 donation to the fundraiser Walker Family 11, which is raising funds for a cancer treatment trial for 16-year-old Sophie Walker, from Loanhead.

Sophie has been battling nephroblastoma since she was 10 years old and has suffered several relapses, most recently in 2022.

The Walker family has so far raised nearly £60,000 of a £350,000 target to put her on a treatment trial in Europe.

Johnnie said: “I speak to Jamie [Sophie’s dad] about alternative treatments frequently. Both Jamie and Rebecca [Sophie’s mum] are good people who have done everything they can to research what can benefit and help Sophie.

“Sending them love from us all. Stay strong Sophie.”

The family said in a statement: “We would like to say a massive thank you to Johnnie for his very generous donation to Sophie’s treatment fund.

“We are incredibly grateful to have his support and follow his journey closely. We wish you all the best Johnnie.”

Donations can be made at gofundme.com/f/help-us-save-our-wee-girls-life