Family Fundraising Set to Achieve Bucket List of Late Husband and Father

26th May 2016

A family from Holmfirth are taking on a series of fundraising events in the next few months to help support the work of Weston Park Cancer Charity.

The Sykes family began raising funds for the cancer charity after their husband and beloved father, Paul Sykes was diagnosed with colon cancer and lost his battle at the age of 45. To continue their father's legacy, Paul's 2 sons, Gavin & Liam, along with Paul's wife, Yeolande have vowed to continue raising money for Weston Park Hospital after Paul received treatment there whilst fighting cancer. A crown green-bowling enthusiast and all-round family man, Paul was diagnosed with cancer after surgery for another problem in February 2015 and went on to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Weston Park Hospital. But in a cruel twist of fate, following a bone biopsy in the Autumn, Paul was told his cancer had in fact spread and was incurable. He developed an infection shortly before starting another course of chemotherapy before passing away surrounded by his loving family. Paul's son, Gavin (25) said, -Dad was a real fighter until the bitter end. He made the most of every second of his life and even made a bucket list in the final months that he desperately tried to complete before he left us.  -Unfortunately, cancer got the better of him and as he had already signed up to complete a skydive for Weston Park Cancer Charity in June 2016, I decided to take on this challenge in his place and memory.  -Between us we will try and tick off the things on his bucket list that he never got to do, then, in a way, he will have achieved everything he always wanted to, through his family.  Weston Park Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer. As well as Gavin taking on a skydive on the Cancer Charity's dedicated jump day, Gavin's younger brother, Liam, completed the Be Gung Ho 5k in Manchester in April and Paul's wife, Yeolande, held a tea party in last May as part of the cancer charity's Time for Tea initiative- raising just over £1000. In total, the family have already raised over an incredible £2,000 for the cancer charity in Paul's memory, with plans of raising even more in the run up to Gavin's jump this June plus taking part in the cancer charity's woodland walk, Light the Night this October. Paul's wife, Yeolande said, -Everyone at Weston Park Hospital was always very cheerful and friendly and we certainly never felt like we were on our own whilst Paul was going through his treatment, even when it was bad news. We were very well supported and although it was Paul who was the patient, I was never made to feel like I didn't matter or wasn't important, which made it easier for me to be there with him and support him.   -The reason why we want to raise money is because we want to try and prevent other families going through what we went through and the only real way to prevent that is by research and hopefully a cure, but money is needed for that.  Weston Park Cancer Charity is encouraging those seeking the thrill factor to sign up to The Big Jump and take on a 15,000ft sky dive on the 12th June whilst raising vital sponsorship to support the work of Weston Park Hospital. Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire a population of almost 1.8million people. Charity Fundraising Manager, Sarah Cross said, -We are incredibly grateful to Gavin, Liam and Yeolande for thinking of the charity during such a difficult year.  -The Big Jump is a really great event for those wanting to support or remember a loved one whilst taking on a personal challenge in support of the cancer charity.  -There's so many ways for individuals to raise money for the cancer charity and ultimately improve the lives of patients and their families affected by cancer across our region.   Last year, fundraisers who took on a skydive in support of Weston Park Cancer Charity raised an incredible £25,000 collectively which went towards life-changing projects within Weston Park Hospital. To support Gavin's skydive for the cancer charity visit his JustGiving page at:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Paul-Sykes8 For more information or to get involved and support the cancer charity's vital work visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk or call the charity office on 01142265370.

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