The family of a Wigan dad-of-one who died following a long battle with an aggressive form of cancer, has organised a fund-raiser in his memory.
Neil Aspinall, from Wrightington, was 41 when he died in October last year after fighting glioblastoma for five years.
Father to five-year-old Jacob, Neil has been described as a “loving” son and father who “lived for his little boy”. Now his dad and step-mum, Phil and Kathleen Aspinall, as well as his mum and step-dad Sheila and Ron Harbridge, have organised a fund-raiser to give back to Wigan and Leigh Hospice, where Neil spent his final weeks.
“When his baby was born, that’s when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour,” said Kathleen. “Neil spent his last few weeks in the care of Wigan and Leigh Hospice, “I just can’t express enough how good they were with him. They were excellent.”
Neil, an avid Manchester United fan and regular “petrolhead”, was initially diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma and had his first tumour removed at Walton Hospital in Liverpool.
Following this he attended Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in the Wirral and was told he only had 12 to 14 months to live. Despite this prognosis, Neil battled on for another five years, until doctors found another tumour in the middle of his brain.
“He tried everything he could to stop the brain cancer,” said his mum Sheila. “He fought it for five years until a second tumour came and they couldn’t operate and he didn’t respond to treatment.
“He was my rock. I could tell him anything. He lived for his little boy Jacob and once said ‘it’s Jacob that keeps me going I have to be strong for him”.
“He was a very loving boy always coming home with little presents for me, a bunch of wild flowers, a fancy stone, anything he thought would make me happy.
“Neil would do anyone a good turn. He was a loveable lad.”
The bereaved family has now organised a family fun day at Heskin Village Hall on Wood Lane on January 27 to help raise funds. Kathleen has organised a raffle full of “wonderful” prizes donated from businesses including Wrightington Country Club who have donated guest passes, afternoon teas and hair and beauty packages, Barton Grange garden centre, Shaw Hill
Golf Club and various Wrightington butchers.
The fun day, running from 1pm to 4pm, will also include a Frederick’s Ice Cream stand and there will be face painting and children’s entertainment as well as a bottle stall, a cake stall and refreshments available throughout