ONE of Ayrshire’s best-known charities has said a heartfelt thanks to a group of walkers who raised more than £90,000 in memory of an Ayr man who lost his life to brain cancer.

Dawn Kennedy, Bryan Kennedy, Blair Kennedy, and Gail Nisbet handed over a cheque for £91,206 to Ayrshire Cancer Support after taking part in the Jay Walk in memory of Jay Kennedy, 20, who died in October last year.

Originally, the family pledged to raise £15,000 to sponsor the Complementary Therapy Room and become founding sponsors of their new cancer support centre for children, young people and adults affected by cancer in Ayrshire.

One year on, the family have sponsored The Complementary Therapy Room, The Young Persons Counselling Room, and The Therapeutic Garden to create a lasting legacy of their son and brother.

On Sunday, June 12, friends, family, and individuals who were moved by Jay came together to walk the 44 miles of the River Ayr Way.

Dawn Kennedy, Jay’s mum, said: “We could have never comprehended the walk would raise £91,206 never mind the amount of people who supported, donated, and took part.

“How the day played out on what was Jay’s 21st was surreal – but with Jay, extraordinary things happen.

“We use the words love, hope, courage and also kindness to describe Jay and his story so now his energy, his hope will go into the new ACS centre for children, young people and adults along with many others to build on the amazing services it will provide.

“I am sure that would make him very proud as it does us, to know his life will help others.

“It seems to me we are all here to help each other along, to hold out a hand when someone needs it and be there, ACS has many hands that do that! What a fantastic charity they are.

“It is not who dances with you at the party, it’s who sits with you in the rain that really matters.”

Sandra McCall, Ayrshire Cancer Support’s chief executive, said: “Our huge and heartfelt thanks to the family and friends of Jay for organising The Jay Walk in his honour and bringing so many people in the community alongside them to make this a fantastic memory walk and fundraising event.

“On behalf of children, young people and adults affected by cancer in Ayrshire, this incredible total will make a huge difference to their lives.

“Jay has become a very special founding sponsor of our new support centre in Ayr and this is a wonderful legacy for a remarkable young man which so many people will benefit greatly from.”

Jay’s family added: “Jay was all about hope even when to others there seemed none. Jay is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and in us he will never die.

“Jay lives with us just in a different form.”

Find out more information about Ayrshire Cancer Support’s services online at or by calling 01563 538008.