Cancer-battling grandfather, 82, with just weeks to live is reunited with best man who was his closest friend in childhood after 60 years apart

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  • Reading time:4 min(s) read

  • Jimmy Fraser, from Glasgow, and his best man Tam were reunited over Facetime

A grandfather given just weeks to live amid a cancer battle was reunited with his best man and closest childhood friend after 60 years apart.

Glaswegian Jimmy Fraser, 82, who now lives in Coventry, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018 – after initially being told the disease was ‘manageable’.

However father-of-three Jimmy ‘took a funny turn’ in July and was told he had just 12 weeks to live as the cancer had spread throughout his body. 

Upon hearing the devastating news, Jimmy set about trying to reconnect with old friends, enlisting the help of his granddaughter Chloe. 

But the most special reunion of all was with his best man Tam Kerr, who immigrated to Canada over 50 years ago. The pair caught up after six decades via Facetime.

‘His diagnosis really put everything into perspective,’ 23-year-old Chloe said. ‘So he got in contact with his old friendship group from Glasgow – but Tam was the only one we couldn’t find and he was really special to grandad.’ 

Jimmy Fraser was first diagnosed in 2018, and the cancer was initially 'manageable'. (Pictured, the grandfather with his three daughters)

Jimmy Fraser was first diagnosed in 2018, and the cancer was initially ‘manageable’. (Pictured, the grandfather with his three daughters)

Jimmy Fraser (bottom right) spoke to his childhood friend Tam Kerr (main) spoke for the first time in 60 years

Jimmy Fraser (bottom right) spoke to his childhood friend Tam Kerr (main) spoke for the first time in 60 years 

The childhood pals became friends when they were just 15 years old. They went on to become each other’s best man at their respective weddings seven years later.

After growing up in Kinning Park, in Glasgow, Celtic fan Jimmy and his wife Maureen moved to Coventry, in England, while Tam later moved to Canada. 

Tech-savvy Chloe took to social media in an attempt to track Tam down.

Posting a picture on Facebook of Jimmy and Tam together at her grandparents’ wedding in 1963, Chloe wrote: ‘I’m asking a favour, as my grandad Jimmy has been given only a few weeks left to live and he wants to find his best man.

‘His name was Tom ‘Tam’ Kerr from The Gorbals, Hallside Street, born in 1941 (I think) and he moved to Canada about 50 years ago.’

The touching social media post went viral, getting shared more than 6,500 times. 

And as comments from people from Jimmy’s past flooded in, they stroke luck. 

‘I put the post up not really expecting much but thinking it was worth a try – everyone knows everyone in Glasgow’, said Chloe.

The emotional encounter was the first time they had seen each other since they were 22-year-old lads (Centre right is Jimmy while far right is Tam)

The emotional encounter was the first time they had seen each other since they were 22-year-old lads (Centre right is Jimmy while far right is Tam)

The pair became friends when they were just 15 years-old and went on to become each other's best man at their respective weddings. (Pictured, Mr Fraser with his son-in-law, grandson and great grandson)

The pair became friends when they were just 15 years-old and went on to become each other’s best man at their respective weddings. (Pictured, Mr Fraser with his son-in-law, grandson and great grandson)

‘After I put it up people were instantly commenting, not just people who knew Tam but also people who knew grandad, like his old school friends, neighbours etc.’

After being in touch with old mutual friends, Jimmy was told Tam lives in Spain but has a house in Paisley, which he often visits. 

On Tuesday, Jimmy and Tam were reunited in an emotional Facetime call. It was the first time they had seen each other in six decades.

Chloe said: ‘I just couldn’t stop crying. We found him through the power of social media really. The comments and kind words have been so touching’.

Jimmy has now vowed to stay in touch was Tam during the limited time he has left while the Fraser family embrace their last moments with their grandad.




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