Charity Cup honours East Kilbride teenager who lost his life to rare brain cancer

Max Jones lost his life to rare brain cancer
-Credit: (Image: East Kilbride News)

Family and friends of an East Kilbride teenager who tragically passed away after battling a rare brain cancer will play a charity football match this weekend in his memory.

Max Jones lost his life at Kilbryde Hospice on July 13, just nine days after his 19th birthday.

Best friends Aidan McCabe and Aiden Farrell have organised a memorial football match at the Showpark in East Kilbride this Saturday, June 29 with all proceeds going to the Kilbryde Hospice and Teenage Cancer Trust reports Lanarkshire Live.

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The pair are hoping the fundraiser will be an annual event and keep Max's memory alive. In the summer of 2022, Max was given the same devastating cancer diagnosis that claimed the lives of both his mum and gran.

The 19-year-old was only given weeks to live following the heartbreaking news.

He was admitted to the Kilbryde Hospice with the "one in a billion" series of deadly brain tumours at the beginning of last year.

A professional cookery student and keen footballer, Max had just won the Claremont AFC 2004s coaches' player of the year when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma aged 17. He also played for EKYC and East Kilbride Thistle over the years.

The teen began to get headaches and pain in his legs. It became so unbearable he went to Hairmyres Hospital where a CT and MRI scan discovered the “aggressive” stage 4 tumour on his brain.

Max and his mum Angie Jones
Max and his mum Angie Jones -Credit:Brain Tumour Research

Max’s gran Margaret O’Kane, from Wishaw, died from glioblastoma in October 2008, aged 66, and his mum Angie Jones, from East Kilbride, died from the disease just 14 months later, aged 36.

Max was the youngest patient to receive palliative care at Kilbryde Hospice.

Aidan McCabe, 19, who went to St Louise Primary and St Andrew's and St Bride's High with Max, said: "The Max Jones charity football match will be in memory of our friend Max Jones who was under the care of Kilbryde Hospice for six months and was also given a space within the Beatson hospital provided by Teenage Cancer Trust.

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"When Max was undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy he spent a lot of time in the Beatson and within the Beatson is an entertainment room funded by Teenage Cancer Trust which helped to keep Max, his family and his friends all having fun and making memories together still.

"Without this room, Max’s time in the Beatson would have been a lot more doom and gloom. When Max was then given two weeks to live he was moved to Kilbryde Hospice where he fought so hard managing to live another amazing six months.

Max Jones was the youngest ever patient to receive palliative care at the Lanarkshire hospice
Max Jones was the youngest ever patient to receive palliative care at the Lanarkshire hospice -Credit:Brain Tumour Research

"During these six months the hospice cared for every single person that visited Max as well as providing him exceptional care. This meant that we managed to make more memories and spend much appreciated time with him."

Aiden Farrell added: "On July 13, 2023 our beloved friend Max Jones passed away after a tough but heroic battle with brain cancer. Nearly a year has past since Max's passing and we are hosting a charity football match in his name in the hope of raising £10,000 for Kilbryde Hospice and Teenage Cancer Trust.

"We are donating to these charities because of how well Kilbryde Hospice treated both Max and his friends and family. With the money raised we hope to help an outstanding charity who have helped us so much. We are also donating a share of the money to Teenage Cancer Trust as we couldn’t decide on one charity as so many helped us along the journey.

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"During Max's stay at the Beatson, Max and his friends would frequently be making memories and spending time with each other in the games room which was funded by Teenage Cancer Trust. We hope with the money we raise we can contribute towards a similar project and hopefully this will allow others in the same situation as we were to create the memories we did."

Max started to get headaches and feel pains in his legs
Max started to get headaches and feel pains in his legs -Credit:Brain Tumour Research

As well as all the footballing action on the day there will be raffle and auction with raffle tickets at 50 pence a ticket or £2 a strip. There will also be beat the goalie and face painters, as well as some entertainment and refreshments.

Pascale Harvie, president and general manager of JustGiving, said: "Max’s story is utterly heartbreaking and I can’t begin to imagine what his loved ones are going through.

“Aidan’s charity football match is an incredibly special way to bring friends together to celebrate Max’s life and much needed funds for Kilbryde Hospice and Teenage Cancer Trust."

Gates open at 2pm with kick off at 3pm. Tickets will be on the gate from 2pm costing £5 with under 13s going free.

You can make a donation to the cause here.