THE wife of a young Wigan DJ has spoken of her pride in his courage as he battled the testicular cancer that claimed his life just six weeks after they wed.
Sean Fleming succumbed to the disease on Friday – a day which was particularly poignant as it would have been the day he originally intended to say “I do” to Toni-Anne.
But when doctors told him his condition was terminal, he decided to bring his nuptials forward and the couple celebrated their big day at Ribby Hall Village on Friday, May 24 followed by four nights in a cottage in the area with their two sons, Theo, two, and Reid, one.
They enjoyed six weeks of wedded happiness before the Pemberton 27-year-old’s health began to deteriorate rapidly and he died at Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
Toni-Anne, 22, who had been with Sean more than four years, said: “He has been so brave and courageous – I am so proud of him.
“All the way through his illness he kept a smile on his face and has always been a great dad to our two boys,
“When the consultant advised us to bring the wedding forward it scared and upset me.
“I didn’t think he would be gone, I thought it was because he would not be well enough to enjoy his day.
“July 5 was an important day to us. We didn’t think that would be the day he passed away.
“Our wedding was amazing – the best day of my life and I could not have asked for anything more.
“We didn’t want it to be emotional – we wanted it to be a happy event.
“And the Friday after our wedding, his mum, Sharon, got married to her partner, Simon Tudor, so it was a double celebration.”
Sean, a former Deanery High School pupil, was diagnosed with testicular cancer last October after suffering flu-like symptoms.
Tragically, by the time the illness was identified it had already spread to his liver and lungs and he was told there could be no cure.
The illness meant Sean had to give up his job as an electrician with Tate Security, where he had worked since he took an apprenticeship aged 16.
He was treated at The Christie and resided at home, but was admitted to Wigan and Leigh Hospice on Friday morning.
Toni-Anne said: “He passed away later that night. He was so peaceful. It is not the same without him – he should be here with me, but I know he is in a better place.
“He still lives through his two little boys.
“They are too young to understand. Theo has an idea, so we have told him his daddy is asleep in heaven and is a big star in the sky, I just want to make sure they are as proud of him as I am.”
“Sean is the most courageous person I have ever known.
“He is really close to his family, mum, Sharon, dad, Stephen, stepdad, Simon, sister, Stacey Heath, brother-in-law Garry, two nieces, Jessica and Evie, and his nan, Rita.
“He has touched so many hearts and has influenced a lot of people in his 27 years. It was heartbreaking when he got diagnosed. But he fought it all the way. ”
Sean, who played rugby at St Cuthbert’s when he was younger, was a regular DJ on the bounce scene, starting his career at Medicine nightclub in Warrington. He was also a resident DJ at Wigan Pier.
Medicine holds an annual reunion night and this year will dedicate the evening to Sean, with DJs playing for free and donating money to a cancer charity in his honour.
The event will be held at NQ club, in Manchester, on July 20. Sean’s funeral will be held at St Matthew’s Church, Billinge Road, Highfield, this Friday July 12 at 2pm.
His family asks for donations towards Wigan and Leigh Hospice instead of flowers and people are asked to wear blue and white in honour of Sean’s love of Everton FC.