A BANKIE living with a terminal brain tumour has begun his once-in-a-lifetime trip to the other side of the planet – and landed in Bali just as a volcano threatened to erupt.

A massive community fundraising effort in August brought more than £5,300 for youth cancer charity CLIC Sergeant as well as paying for flights to Australia for James Austin and his girlfriend Katherine.

James, from Old Kilpatrick, was diagnosed in March 2016 with stage 4 Glioblastoma and has already outlived the 18-month average prognosis.

His most recent scan showed “no growth” to the tumour, meaning the 26-year-old is keeping it at bay. But the assessment was not without emotion as James initially saw a mass on the scan and feared his tumour was growing.

He said: “I burst into tears thinking my trip and life was over.”

But thankfully the scan had been taken from a different angle and he was reassured it was not growing.

He added: “It was so scary, going through a rollercoaster of emotions.

“All of my tumour can never be removed. It will always be with me.

“I hope I will have decades more of life – I take each scan as it comes.”

James left last Thursday for Dubai and then Bali with plans for most of December in Cairns and then the Gold Coast of Australia. He’ll return via Singapore in January.

He said they had been unaffected as yet by the rumbling Mount Agung volcano on Bali. Around 100,000 people living near the site have been ordered to evacuate as officials fear a major eruption.

Speaking before he left, he told the Post: “I’m looking forward to it - there’s so many different cultures to experience and Australia has unique flora and fauna.

“Katherine loves hillwalking so no doubt she will be doing some of that.”

In August, more than 250 people attended a garden fete in Dalmuir to raise funds for James’ cause. James said he will continue to raise funds for CLIC Sergeant, for whom he maintains a great deal of gratitude for the support they gave him.

He said: “I would like to thank the community for paying for the flights and to Katherine for organising all the details of the trip – she’s been amazing.”

- To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/jamesaustinfund.