TRIBUTES have been paid to a 24-year-old man who was said to have ‘brought together a community’.
Andy Prowting, who was battling skin cancer, died on Wednesday.
Scores of people had got behind Andy’s Army – a £60,000 fundraising drive to send him to the USA for treatment.
One of the events organised was an ice bucket challenge in Park Parade, Leigh Park, where more than 100 people had a bucket of cold water tipped over their heads, in exchange for donating money.
Mark Smith, landlord and vice-chairman of the Leigh Park Traders’ Association, took part in the Andy’s Army fundraising drive.
He said: ‘Andy’s illness brought the community together and shows what it can do.
‘Leigh Park often gets a bad press, but the fundraising and support shown for Andy shows what a great community it is.
‘Andy was a local guy and we rallied around, along with his loved ones, to help out.
‘There have been many heartfelt messages left for him.’
Andy, of Silkstead Avenue, Leigh Park, first noticed an odd-looking mole on his back in January this year and believes it may have developed after he was sunburnt on holiday.
He was referred to the dermatology centre in St Mary’s Community Health Campus in Milton Road, Portsmouth.
He was diagnosed with a severe skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
In April, surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham removed the lymph nodes under his right arm and tissue in his back as part of aggressive treatment.
After having three months off from work as a security supervisor to recover, Andy was referred to Southampton to take part in a chemotherapy clinical trial in August. But when doctors ran tests, they found the cancer had spread to Andy’s bones and liver.
Tributes for Andy have been paid on Twitter.
@lauraj30 put: ‘The mighty heart of Leigh Park has a big hole. Rest in Peace Andy our thoughts and prayers are with your family #AndysArmy x’
@timchandler30 said: ‘Thoughts are with family and friends of Andy rest in peace @AndysArmy_ #andysarmy’