By Hayley Parr
As I sat in the dimly lit, unrecognisable refectory at GCU last Thursday night among around 300 students and staff, enjoying the Allister Boyd ball I have never been so proud to call myself a Caley student.
The annual charity ball in memory of 20-year-old Allister Boyd who passed away in April 2009, following his own cancer diagnosis in 2005, celebrated his life, his courage and the mark he made on this university.
The successful night raised £10,000 (and still counting) through raffle tickets, the full ticket price of £25 and other donations. The money all goes to the Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity which Allister himself fundraised tirelessly for.
There were tears and laughter throughout the night as we listened to live music, watched videos of Allister’s amazing attitude to fight his cancer and raise awareness of teenage cancer, and listened to speeches from Allister’s parents, GCU Student President Matt Lamb and charity speakers.
The crowd gave great cheers at the news of an Allister Boyd plaque to be put in the university to further show his inspirational impact on everyone at GCU.
People were dressed up, the wine was flowing and the food was going down well but we never forgot the reason why we were all together.
I think the night brought prospective to us students, who sometimes like to complain about the heavy work-load we have. It brought prospective to be more like Allister- to live life to the fullest, to make a change, and enjoy every second of it, because that is what he did – all while fighting cancer.
Student President Matt Lamb said: “The Allister Boyd ball is the highlight event of the year. Allister Boyd ‘s legacy is something that is so important to the students’ association and university and we are working towards and looking forward to having a memorial plaque to remember him by.”