THE new Maggie’s Centre in Aberdeen is to be officially opened later this month by the Duchess of Rothesay and Queen Sonja of Norway, it was announced today.
The opening of the new £3 million cancer care centre by the two Royals on 23 September will mark the culmination of a three year fund raising campaign by the local community and the Elizabeth Montgomery Foundation, a charity set up by golfer Colin Montgomerie in memory of his mother who died of cancer in 1991.
Two girls whose families have been affected by cancer, Leigh Bonthrone, 15, from Kirkcaldy, and eight year-old Jemma Findlay, from Edinburgh, have been chosen as flower girls to present bouquets to the Duchess and the Queen at the opening ceremony which will also be attended by former Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie.
Leigh’s father John, 46, underwent a 56 hour operation to save his life when doctors discovered a tumour in his spine and Jemma lost her mum Tracy to cancer in February, aged 46.
A spokeswoman for Maggie’s said: “Both families found vital support at Maggie’s and both have been involved in raising funds and awareness for the new Maggie’s Centre in Aberdeen.”
The new centre, to be called Maggie’s Aberdeen at the Elizabeth Montgomerie Building, has been designed by Oslo-based architects Snohetta and is sited in the grounds of Aberdeen’s Foresterhill Hospital complex.
Mr Montgomerie said: “I am hugely honoured to see Maggie’s Aberdeen at the Elizabeth Montgomerie Building almost ready to welcome patients and their families who need the unique support only Maggie’s offers. I feel immensely proud to have my Mum’s name attached to such an incredible building.”
He continued: “Monty’s Maggie’s Appeal has been a tremendous success due to the huge effort and dedication by all involved. I am greatly looking forward to seeing the building open and for the much needed care and support it will provide throughout the Grampian area.
“The opening of the centre will be a very special day for myself and my family and I want to thank everyone involved in making this dream a reality.”
Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest cancer treatment centre but is the only clinical centre in Scotland not supported by Maggie’s. The charity has six drop in centres around Scotland providing care for thousands of people and the Aberdeen centre will be the seventh.