One L of a time for rail worker Lewis

Lewis Vaughan with piper David Johnston as the train with #LForLewis arrives at Waverley Station
Lewis Vaughan with piper David Johnston as the train with #LForLewis arrives at Waverley Station

A rail worker battling terminal cancer has spoken of his “overwhelming” gratitude as a train bearing his name rolled into Waverley Station.

Lewis Vaughan, who grew up in Midlothian, watched as the special Virgin Trains service arrived at the station last week, with the legend #LforLewis painted on its side.

The 32-year-old St David’s High School pupil was diagnosed with testicular cancer, secondary lung cancer and a number of brain tumours last April, before being told a few weeks ago that he only has a short time left to live.

But his ordeal sparked a global social media campaign after he started posting selfies online in which he is wearing different hats in a bid to put a tongue-in-cheek spin on his hair loss.

One picture, of Lewis making an L shape with his finger and thumb, quickly caught on with friends and family who started posting their own photos mimicking the pose.

The #LforLewis hashtag has now been shared thousands of times on Twitter and a Facebook page has so far attracted more than 2000 members. In just four weeks it has raised more than £3000 for Marie Curie and helped Lewis buy an electric wheelchair to assist his mobility.

Lewis, who previously worked as a customer information assistant for Virgin Trains East Coast, said he had found the public reaction to his campaign “overwhelming”.

He said the fundraising drive had helped him cope with his terminal illness and cancer treatments, adding: “The generous nature of the human race has been overwhelming, and the generosity of those on Facebook has been a really powerful thing.”

He said: “If anything, I feel a little bit guilty that there are other people suffering that are not getting the same kind of attention as myself.”

To mark the occasion, Lewis donned a baseball cap that was originally worn by actor Russell Crowe during the filming of Robin Hood, before being sold to a friend who was an extra in the film.

Passengers are now being encouraged to donate £1 to Marie Curie.