Alumnus given a year to live pledges to raise £100,000

Tuesday 2 January 2018

Gareth Dunn (GSAL09) is a remarkable young man.  He was about to achieve his greatest ambition, becoming an officer in the British Army but he was diagnosed with cancer in his leg and had to have it amputated below the knee.  Undeterred and with an infectious passion for life,  Gareth joined the GB Paralympic squad.  Even though Gareth, 26, has been given a year to live he has pledged to spend what time he has left raising £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

GSAL staff recently raised over £2500 for Gareth’s fund and Gareth sent the following message of thanks to GSAL staff just before Christmas.

Teachers and staff alike, please let me take this opportunity to slow down your progress home for Christmas with a brief but all too necessary vote of thanks, that truly can’t go amiss. It goes without saying that I am humbled beyond measure by your generosity and your kindness, in the form of your common room subscriptions, towards the fundraising we’re doing for Cancer Research UK. It’s witness, if nothing else, to the ethos the school displayed throughout my childhood, and the values the school and her staff clearly and happily exhibit today. Further to that, it’s a shining example of individual humanity and open-handedness that credits each and every one of you, though you don’t need a gushing, brown-nosing Old Leo to tell you that.

I have such fond memories of school, the environment in which I spent seven years of my life, and most especially the dedication of the staff that instilled more of the positive values I hold dear to me today than anywhere or anyone else. I still hear teachers telling me to do my top-button up, and to tuck my shirt in, to this day, as well as the dressings-down as a consequence of failed, imaginary excuses for late homework.

Additionally, to my old teachers that by some minor miracle remember me, I apologise profusely for the language in my blog, if you’ve been reading it. Mrs Kurczij taught me better…

Once again, my heartfelt thanks, and a very merry Christmas to you all.


You can read more about Gareth’s story here.

You can make a donation here.


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