Lives of the fellows

John Hilary Le Vay

b.30 July 1956 d.10 March 2008
MB BS Lond(1979) MRCS LRCP(1979) MRCP(1984) FRCR(1988) FRCP(2000)

John Hilary Le Vay was a consultant clinical oncologist at Ipswich Hospital. In 1998 he was responsible for forming the charity, Cancer Campaign in Suffolk, with the Ipswich Town footballer, Jason Cundy, whom he treated for testicular cancer. This raised enough money to found a Cancer Information Centre at Ipswich Hospital which was opened in 2003. On Le Vay’s early death five years later, after his own long battle with cancer, the centre was renamed the John Le Vay Cancer Information Centre. A colleague commented that he was ‘passionate about the support and information and those things that make such a difference to those people living with the disease. He was very keen people should have access to that support outside the clinical environment.’

Born in London, he was the son of Harold, who was a physician, and his wife, Lillian. Educated at St Paul’s School, he studied medicine at King’s College, London and the Westminster Hospital Medical School. Qualifying in 1979, he did house jobs at the Westminster and also at the New Surrey Hospital in Guildford, Watford General Hospital, and Guy’s. In 1982 he commenced his training in clinical oncology at the Westminster and St Stephen’s hospitals in London. Four years later he joined the staff of the Wessex Radiotherapy Centre at the Royal South Hants Hospital in Southampton and the Poole General Hospital in Dorset as a rotating registrar. From 1988 to 1994, he was a senior registrar in clinical oncology to the Velindre Hospital in Cardiff. During his time there he also spent a year as a clinical research fellow at the University of Toronto in Canada.

In April 1994, he was appointed consultant to the department of clinical oncology at Ipswich Hospital with a special interest in breast and urological malignancy. He co-authored a number of publications on soft tissue sarcoma, on radiotherapy and on the treatment of gynaecological carcinomas. At meetings of various oncological societies in the UK and the US, he co-presented papers on similar topics.

After moving to the area he became very involved with Suffolk life and issues and developed a passion for Ipswich Town Football Club. He enjoyed sailing with his family, running and going for country walks.

He married Joanna (‘Jo’), who was a midwife, in 1988, and she survived him with their son and two daughters.

RCP editor

[Ipswich Star 19 March 2008 and 26 June 2008 www.ipswichstar.co.uk/home_2_202/cancer_doctor_s_incredible_legacy_1_208403 www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/ex_town_star_s_tribute_to_doctor_1_208382 - both accessed 15/01/15 www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/friends_remember_cancer_specialist_1_164852 - accessed 08/02/15]

(Volume XII, page web)

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