It is enormously sad news that our friend Kano, Martin Kane, succumbed to his illness this morning. Kano was an ever-present on CQN for four years, on occasion writing our match reports, until illness struck in 2008. He was left completely paralysed, eventually only able to communicate through a machine, requiring round the clock care.
He was isolated in hospital in his home city of Perth, Western Australia, lonely for him and difficult for his wife Carolyn and their family, with no realistic chance of recovery. On hearing this news, CQN reacted in an incredible way. Our also now-departed friend, Pablophanque, wrote, “We need to get this guy home”, and a campaign started to raise the tens of thousands of pounds required to transform part of his home into an appropriate care facility.
As the campaign got underway I remember being concerned, it was going to take at least £60k and I thought we had no chance of getting close to this. Pablo (memorably) didn’t want to head the campaign he started but others soon stepped in and the Bring Martin Home got underway in earnest. Those behind it moved heaven and earth, and within a few months, the money was in place and Kano was back living at home with his family.
The Kano Foundation, a remarkable self-funded organisation which takes kids groups and charities to Celtic games, was established by those running the Bring Martin Home campaign, to harness the expertise and goodwill for on-going good, in Martin’s name.
When I first met Kano’s dad, Matt, who himself is no longer with us, six years ago, I was caught off-guard when he talked about Kano’s life expectancy. Unable to move he was enormously vulnerable to any prosaic infection. He suffered a few health scares but fought through them for far longer than many anticipated.
We got him back on the blog briefly, sharing some of his gratitude for the work done and his humour, but he explained the hours it took to compose his few sentences. He continued to watch Celtic, of course.
This morning our thoughts go to Carolyn and the kids, as well as to his good pal Ramie and those who cared for Martin. Those who decided to get off their arses and change the world for one family back in 2008 should be very proud of what they did, and the years at home they gave Kano.