Tributes paid to cancer specialist

A FORMER football star has paid tribute to a “well-respected” Suffolk cancer specialist whose funeral will take place today.Dr John LeVay, 51, who worked as an Oncologist at Ipswich Hospital, died last week following a long battle with cancer.

Anthony Bond

A FORMER football star has paid tribute to a “well-respected” Suffolk cancer specialist whose funeral will take place today.

Dr John LeVay, 51, who worked as an Oncologist at Ipswich Hospital, died last week following a long battle with cancer.

He formed the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk charity with former Ipswich Town star Jason Cundy, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1997 and was treated by Dr LeVay.

The Cancer Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital will now be renamed the John LeVay Cancer Information Centre following his death.

Mr Cundy said a strong bond built up between the two men during the course of his treatment. “We quickly became very good friends as there was a mutual interest in everything that we shared. Of course cancer was his passion, as well as football, so we would often sit and talk about my illness and quickly digress to football, which made it easier for me.

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“He was very calming and understanding. He got me through what was a very difficult time for me and made my life as easy as possible and was always welcoming and willing to help at the end of a phone.”

The former football star added: “He will be a huge loss. I cannot equate how big a loss he will be, not just to the charity but to the whole industry and everything surrounding Suffolk. He was more than a doctor. He was a pillar of the community who was very well-respected.”

Andrew Reed, chief executive of Ipswich Hospital, said he would be missed by everyone at the hospital: “On behalf of everyone at Ipswich Hospital who knew Dr John LeVay I would like to express our deep sadness following the news of his death.

“John was not only a highly respected clinician but also a very well liked team member. He will be hugely missed as a colleague and friend. Our deepest sympathies are with his family.”

Jonathan Ripman, Chairman of Cancer Campaign Suffolk, added: “In 1998 John LeVay persuaded a group of like-minded individuals to form a charity called Cancer Campaign in Suffolk. He had an idea to build a Cancer Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital and this task was completed in 2003. Since then the charity has spent a further £300,000 on a wide variety of cancer projects to benefit women, men and children.

“John's energy and commitment in the fight against cancer has inspired the work of the charity from its inception and will continue to motivate the trustees as we strive to achieve our next goal which is to raise £250,000 to commission a mobile cancer information unit for Suffolk.”

Dr LeVay leaves behind a wife, Jo, and three children who live in Charsfield. His funeral will take place at St Michael's Church in Framlingham at 1.30pm today.

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