Lowestoft man Dean Lawson pledges to raise �20,000 before he dies of cancer

A Lowestoft man given just months to live has pledged to raise �20,000 for good causes before he succumbs to cancer.

Dean Lawson, 37, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and, despite undergoing a gruelling schedule of chemotherapy and surgery, he has now been told he only has 'single figure months' to live.

Rather than dwell on his grim news, Mr Lawson – who is known to friends as Carl – is determined to help others.

Keen to use his time in as positive a way as possible, he has formed his own registered charity and set himself the target of raising �20,000 to help good causes in the Lowestoft area.

To launch his fundraising effort, Mr Lawson is organising Carlfest – a five-day festival of music and fun at the Mariner's Rest pub, Rotterdam Road, in June The proceeds will go to his charity CARL – which stands for Care And Real Lovin' – and will be used to help people who face spending much of their time in hospital.

Mr Lawson, of Stanford Street, said: 'I have been told by a doctor that it is definitely only single figures months that I have got left now. I am going to be positive now and I am very open about it. I suppose there will be a element of me being becoming more scared soon, but I have decided set a target to raise �20,000 for CARL. We are going to do a Carlfest and also a garden sale on March 31 and a pub quiz on March 25 at the Mariner's. I just want to help other people in the time I have left.'

Plans for the Carlfest, which is over Diamond Jubilee weekend, include 20 live bands performing in the pub's beer garden, a charity barrel run. family-themed entertainment, and food.

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Money raised will go towards a mobility scooter that can be loaned to people who may need it, and some will be spent on food hampers and grants for people who are seriously ill. There are also plans to fund respite days for carers, by sending them to spa days or on trips.

Mr Lawson, who used to work at the Bird's Eye factory, began organising charity events at the Mariner's Arms after becoming good friends with its landlord, Shaun Underdown, and his partner, Gemma Searby.

The former welder who hails from the Middlesbrough area, said: 'Shaun and Gemma are like brother and sister to me. I owe them so much.'

Mr Lawson was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 which was later identified as Ewing's sarcoma, a rare disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue.

That diagnosis resulted in a rare operation in December 2010, in which a doctor had to practice on a cadaver as he had not seen a similar case in his 20 years in medicine.

For information on the CARL charity and its fund-raising events email CARLcharity@hotmail.co.uk

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