FORMER captain of Melksham Rugby Club Chris Bull will be one of hundreds of people remembered during this year’s Midnight Walk for Dorothy House Hospice.
Mr Bull died on December 12 last year after fighting pancreatic cancer for 14 months, and his wife Alison will join more than 720 women on September 13 for the 8km circular walk around Bath.
Mrs Bull, who lives in Melksham with her children, Cameron, 14, and Georgina, 12, will be walking with family and friends for the second year running to raise funds for the hospice where Chris spent the last two weeks of his life.
The health visitor said: “Chris was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in January 2013. He was only 42 and very fit, so it was a very unusual case.
“We knew the prognosis was very poor, but Chris refused to let it affect his life.
"He was working as a regional manager for Medequip and never took any time off, working around four cycles of chemotherapy in early 2013, which kept the tumour stable. His workmates had no idea he was seriously ill.
“He also continued to coach and captain Melksham Rugby Club, and to live his life to the full. He always said life was for living, and that he would live it as well as he could, for as long as he could.
“He hated people to feel sorry for him, and just wanted everything to be as normal as possible.”
In September doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his liver and lymph glands. He chose to have further treatment, which began in November, but a scan later showed that his bowel had perforated and there was nothing more that could be done.
It was then he went into the in-patient unit at Dorothy House, where he died 15 days later.
Mrs Bull, who had been with her husband since they were 17, said: “That time at the hospice was so precious to us as a family. The staff were fab, not just the care, which was wonderful, but the fact that we were able to live there together as a family.
“The children were made so welcome. They had their own room and were able to use the house and grounds as if it was their own home. Chris hadn’t wanted to be at home at the end, he didn’t want our house to hold bad memories, especially for the kids. But our nurse said, ‘that’s okay, home is coming to him’.”
His family and friends will be walking to raise money for Chris’s Tulip Fund, to make sure Dorothy House can keep on providing care to other families.
The walk begins and ends at the SouthGate centre in Bath, and the event is open to women aged 16 or above on the day.
Register at www.bathmidnightwalk.co.uk or call 01225 721480. Entrants are asked to raise a minimumof £30 sponsorship.