A grieving husband has thanked everyone who has supported his family after his “beautiful” wife’s battle with cancer came to an end.
People across the borough and further afield took Polly Haydock into their hearts as the mum-of-three fought the disease.
Many people raised money to help pay for treatment abroad and others offered emotional support to Polly and her loved ones.
But sadly Polly died on Tuesday August 8 at her home in Atherton, aged 37.
She had spent four weeks at Wigan And Leigh Hospice before returning home for her final week.
Polly is survived by her husband Dan and three children, Darcy, 18, Emma, 10, and Alex, eight.
It would have been so difficult to get through without everybody’s supportDan Haydock
Dan said: “It would have been so difficult to get through without everybody’s support. All the family are very thankful to everybody.”
Polly grew up in Westhoughton with her mum Judith Cleworth and attended Westhoughton High School.
Dan said she was well-known in the town because she was “bubbly and friendly”.
She married Dan on August 13, 2005 at St James’ Church in Daisy Hill and they moved to Atherton nine years ago.
Polly had several jobs and enjoyed socialising and travelling.
Dan said: “Her friends were very much as important as her family.”
Polly had many friends, but also a close-knit group that she was particularly close to.
“On the outside to everybody she was life-loving, bubbly and very beautiful, personality and the way she looked as well,” Dan said.
“To those who knew her closest, she was a dedicated friend and advisor with a soft and caring heart.”
But in October 2015 she was given the news that she had stage three colorectal cancer.
The disease spread to her lymph nodes, lungs and liver, and in July last year she was told her condition had become terminal and she had just six months left to live.
But Polly was determined to fight the disease.
She launched a fundraising appeal so she could go to Germany for treatment not available in the UK.
People wanted to help and the cash rolled in, with donations and fund-raising events taking the total to £223,620.
Even comedian Peter Kay got involved, holding several shows to raise money.
Dan said: “It was fantastic, the support from everybody, from total strangers to old friends that we had lost contact with, to celebrities like Dawn Ward and Peter Kay.
“Beside the money, Peter rang a few times to speak to Polly and give us support.”
Polly was able to go to the Hallwang Clinic in Germany to begin treatment.
But her health deteriorated and she was admitted to Wigan And Leigh Hospice earlier in the summer, where she stayed for four weeks.
Dan said: “They were absolutely amazing. The support there was brilliant. I don’t know what we would have done if they weren’t there.”
Polly spent her last week at home with her family.
Dan said he particularly wanted to thank friends Rachel Peers, Lisa Smith, Russell Roberts, Jason Bright and Logan Stryx for both their fund-raising efforts and support for the family.
He also highlighted Joanne Howcroft and Catherine Sanchez, who set up Polly’s Angels to raise money for their friend and will keep fund-raising to help other people.
Polly’s friends paid tribute to her on social media.
On Facebook, Rachel Peers wrote: “My beautiful girl has got her angel wings and is flying high. You will always be in my heart and I thank you for everything you ever did for me. Looking at our pictures this morning and smiling through the tears. Love you Always Polly Haydock”
Lisa Janette wrote: “Rest in peace my beautiful friend Polly Haydock I will never forget you beautiful xxxxxx So brave, So strong xxxxx Can’t believe I had to write this :’( xxx I’m sorry we couldn’t help you xxxxx”
A funeral for Polly will be held at 1.30pm on Thursday at St James’ Church in Daisy Hill - the church where she married Dan - followed by a service at Howe Bridge Crematorium.
Instead of buying flowers, people are asked to consider making a donation to the hospice.