A RUGBY community has rallied to raise thousands of pounds to support an Egremont dad who is battling cancer.

Kevin Brown was diagnosed with myeloma - a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow – in March.

He had been suffering with pain in his back before his diagnosis and an MRI scan revealed three lesions on his spine. He was then referred for further tests.

The 40-year-old is a well-known figure in the town as a committee member for Egremont Crab Fair and for his involvement with Egremont’s rugby union and rugby league clubs. 

Whitehaven News: Kevin Brown, the compere at Egremont Crab Fair in 2016Kevin Brown, the compere at Egremont Crab Fair in 2016 (Image: Mike McKenzie)

While myeloma is not curable, there are a number of treatment options available and Kevin has undergone chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

He has recently been told that his myeloma is at the minimum level and he will begin maintenance treatment this month.

A total of £9,135 has been raised from various fundraisers held to support Kevin and his family through his illness.

A GoFundMe page was set up by Chris Wharton, a member of the social welfare and sponsorship sub-committee at Egremont Rugby Union Club, which has raised nearly £6,000.

The proceeds from a charity rugby game held at Egremont Rugby Union Club on December 28 are this year being donated to Kevin and his family.

The annual event, which sees current and former players go head-to-head, is held in memory of Thomas Froggatt of Thornhill who died in 2015. An auction and raffle were held in the clubhouse afterwards.

Whitehaven News: Proceeds from the Thomas Froggatt Memorial Game will go to Kevin and his familyProceeds from the Thomas Froggatt Memorial Game will go to Kevin and his family (Image: Chris Wood)

Egremont Rangers ARLFC has also held a number of fundraising events and Whitehaven RUFC are donating half of the money raised from their annual ‘Fat Lads Dip’ on New Year’s Day to Kevin.

Chris said: “He’s been really overwhelmed. I think he’s humbled by it. He’s touched that enough people have come together to make life a bit easier for him in the near future.”