Bringing Music to Calums Cabin - A Holiday Cottage Provided to Families When Dealing with a Child with Cancer
About Calums Cabin
Calum Speirs from the Isle of Bute was only 12-years-old when he sadly died from an inoperable brain tumor in 2007. One of Calum’s last wishes was to help other children with cancer create special memories and so he came up with the idea of Calums Cabin - a holiday retreat where families could enjoy precious time being ‘normal’, make irreplaceable memories together and recharge their batteries for whatever lies ahead for them.
In February 2009, Calum’s wish became a reality as his family proudly opened Calum’s Cabin. Situated on the beautiful Isle of Bute, a short ferry ride across the Firth of Clyde, it’s been full pretty much ever since. Caroline and Duncan Speirs, together with their daughter Jenna are the co-founders of ‘Calum’s Cabin’ and have now arranged holidays for over 900 families and raised over £2.5m for the charity through sponsorship and innovative fundraiser events.
Donald Keir supported several different causes throughout his lifetime, however, Calum's Cabin was the one that meant the most to him. "Donald was a wonderful gentleman who meant a huge amount to us as a supporter and then a friend," said Caroline Spiers.
Following his passing, Donald’s family Lupin, Moe, Holly, and Conor wanted to use the money raised in Donald’s memory to buy something that would give enjoyment to others as well as being a lasting memorial to him. Knowing how much Donald admired Caroline and was moved by her story, it was obvious that Calums Cabin should be the beneficiaries.
Lupin’s niece, a speech therapist at Treloar’s disabled school and college in Hampshire suggested outdoor musical instruments. A quick search on google images and Lupin had found what she was looking for, “By far the most beautiful looking instruments were those made by Percussion Play.”
The family chose an Akadinda, Duo, Harmony, and Babel Drum to be installed in the garden of the Cabin.
The babel drum was specially engraved with Donald's name and dates plus the last line of Lupin’s eulogy to him, which reads "Donald knew that he was difficult to live with, but impossible to live without."
Lupin said “Choosing the instruments for Calums Cabin has undoubtedly been the best thing about the last few months. The musical instruments from Percussion Play - bought with the money which so many people generously donated in Donald's memory - are beautiful. The inscription on the drum is perfect. Caroline tells me that when families arrive the first thing they do is run outside to play with them. Donald would have loved that.”