Family's fundraising tribute to memory of doorman with 'a heart of gold' (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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Family's fundraising tribute at The Slug and Lettuce to memory of St Albans doorman Graham Smith with 'a heart of gold'
A St Albans family has paid tribute to their son and brother who had a "heart of gold and terrific sense of humour" as they prepare to host a fundraising evening in memory of him.
A well-known door supervisor in the city, Graham Smith, lost his battle to cancer in October last year, aged 41.
He leaves mother and father Christine and Colin and sister, Jackie Smith. His family and friends will now host a "Big Night for Big G" at The Slug and Lettuce, St Albans, on Saturday to raise funds for Grove House, Macmillan Cancer Support and Michael Sobell Hospice, the charities which provided care and support for Mr Smith and his family in the months leading up to his death.
Mr Smith, who lived at home with his parents in Lectern Lane, was diagnosed with kidney cancer two years ago.
The tumour was removed, but a year later Mr Smith’s health deteriorated after he suffered a seizure while driving in November 2012.
Despite managing to control and park his car, Mr Smith was left completely paralysed down his left side and was told he only had a few weeks to live after the discovery of a brain tumour.
The tumour was removed at National Hospital in London and Mr Smith received further treatment and was back upright and walking with assistance, within a few days.
Jackie, 40, said: "There was nothing Graham wouldn’t do. He would never say no and he was determined to walk again.
"Throughout he never complained. He was in the worst pain but he kept himself on the medication so he was as lucid as possible and had the opportunity to be with his family and friends.
"Even after surgery he was in good spirits and back to his normal self."
A week later he returned home but within a few weeks he started to develop pains in his shoulder. Growing up in St Albans his whole life Mr Smith attended SS Alban and Stephen Catholic Junior School and Nicholas Breakspear School.
A former lorry driver, he worked at Batchwood Nightclub, and the Slug and Lettuce bar and restaurant in Victoria Street.
Jackie added: "Graham was a likeable personality and a terrific sense of humour, sometimes acidic but no one took offence.
"He would never be unhappy and was always on to the next thing.
"Graham didn’t have good luck but he always used to say ‘if it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.’ He wasn’t one to dwell on things."
Mr Smith’s funeral was attended by more than 400 people and mourners raised more than £1,000 for the cancer charities.
Graham’s father, Colin Smith, said: "Graham had a heart of gold. If anyone was ever in trouble Graham would be the first one there. He was fiercely loyal to his friends and family."
The fundraising evening will take place at The Slug and Lettuce from 8pm to 1pm with DJ RossCo leading the charity raffle from 10pm onwards.
The Slug and Lettuce has also created a cocktail, mixed with Mr Smith’s favourite spirit - Jack Daniels, which will be sold on the evening with all proceeds donated to charity.
To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com and search his name.
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