Words fail me today as I have just learned of the death of Chris Drummond: a friend and Porsche enthusiast, who I first encountered back in 2008. After a long-term love affair with the Porsche marque, Chris had finally found his way to the impact-bumper 911s, ended up at my forum at impactbumpers.com and started to understand how modifying Porsche 911s brought the best out of them.
Chris Drummond – Apprentice Porsche Outlaw
Up to that point, Chris had owned two 944s, a 968, a 964, a 993, three 996s including a Turbo S, which he had at the time that we first got together. He went on to add a Cayenne S to his history, but of course it was his G50 Carrera which outlasted the rest. Once he found IB, he enjoyed a few runs in various modified impact bumper member cars and loved the loud and lightweight ethos. He soon set about dumping weight from the 3.2 coupe and making the car sharper.
Various Chris D threads began to appear on the board, including “how do I upgrade my brakes?”, “what big end shells do I need?” and “who do I talk to to refurbish my Fuchs?”. Chris embraced the modifying big-time and loved to tinker at home. We got together to talk about lots of stuff, including maybe doing some work together, and spent an afternoon discussing how to use social media to promote his HR business. All the time we were talking shop, I knew Chris just wanted to talk about Porsche and of course that never changed.
Once I went solo freelance in 2010, I went off to work flat out on other stuff and only bumped into Chris here and there. He was always smiling, always friendly and always had plenty of questions! The IB crew around Chris’s house stayed busy with him and no doubt he made some great friends with his car.
The years ticked on, we caught up every once in a while when he needed an updated insurance valuation. The last time was in May 2015, and all went quiet until the following year, when he emailed me out of the blue to tell me his news. It was absolutely shocking.
In June 2016, Chris Drummond sailed out of New York as part of a crew on the final leg of the Clipper Round the World yacht race. Five days into the voyage and 200 miles out to sea, he suddenly developed serious chest pains – they thought a heart attack. Medics on board stabilised his condition and called on the Canadian air force to airlift him to urgent medical care in Halifax. Here’s what happened next in Chris’s own words:
After two weeks hospitalisation in Halifax, Nova Scotia I was told my heart was OK, however following tests and scans they identified that I had advanced secondary cancer of the liver. The medical team in Halifax, who were absolutely brilliant, arranged for me to have further tests and biopsies when I returned to the UK to find out where the primary cancer was located.
Following scans and biopsies in mid-August (2016), my oncology consultant told me the primary cancer was in the oesophagus, that there was no cure for my condition and that any treatment would be about prolonging life. The prognosis was that I had between 12 and 18 months at best, depending on how I responded to chemotherapy treatment which I started in early September.
January 2017: I’ve now completed the six-cycle regime of chemo and will have a scan at the end of this month to find out whether the chemo has arrested the cancer or not. The mid-term review after 3 cycles of chemo was pretty positive so fingers crossed.
Chris Drummond’s Race Against Time for Stand Up to Cancer
Chris was a man who always saw opportunity, and he quickly realised his time was limited in making the most of this one. Once he had told his family what was going on, he set about launching a public campaign to bring awareness to the early diagnosis of this disease, noting that he had experienced symptoms of esophageal cancer for nine months before doing anything about it. By the time he saw a doctor, it was too late.
The story resonated heavily with me, as a similar thing happened to my brother-in-law, David, who had lived with pain for months before talking to someone. The end came swiftly for David and also for Chris. After posting his final blog in April, Chris finally passed away last week.
When Chris emailed me to share his news about cancer, he asked for ideas to help with fundraising. He had a few things going with PCGB and Cancer Research, involving using the Porsche to draw attention to the message, but all input would be greatly received. The journalist in me focused on the deadline of 18 months away, so I considered that there was some time to get this organised. Chris was not urgent, so neither was I! I had a few thoughts, but was busy on so much other stuff that I didn’t really get my first ideas going until a month or so ago.
I spoke to Steve at JZM Porsche and got a Bosch K-Jet tech morning together for early September. I brought in fifteen attendees at £25 a head, figured out how to get that up to £500 and made a mental note to email Chris and find out if he could make it. A few more events like this and we would soon be rolling – or at least that’s what I thought.
Today I went looking for JustGiving links to finish the thing before emailing Chris, and found out he had recently passed. I am shocked at the speed of his exit and angry with myself that I didn’t move faster – he deserved a good morning’s fun with an IB crew that held him in high regard. I will miss him but that is no good to his cause, so the energy now is in how to support what he hoped to achieve.
Organisations including Porsche, PCGB, Autofarm, Driver’s Collective and more picked up on his campaign and publicised the fundraising, but the total is currently less than £8k with a target of £30k. Here’s how his supporters say that you can help to increase this total.
We can’t stress enough how much it would mean to the family and everyone who’s supported Chris’s campaign, if we could reach his charity target of £30k. If you haven’t donated already, then please text RATP88 £10 to 70070 and together we could achieve Chris’s wish. Please continue to share and show your support.
Chris’s car will be auctioned for Stand Up to Cancer later this year, we will crack on with some fundraising events and find more ways to contribute towards his target. The Race Against Time JustGiving page is here: please give whatever you feel is appropriate to express solidarity. He was a good guy and any one of us could be there but for the roll of a dice in an incredibly random universe.
More thoughts on this in due course – RIP Chris and all my love to his wonderful family. My heart goes out to anyone also experiencing this pain: I know there are a few people suffering. Do not waste time in going to help ❤️