FUNDS are being raised to grant the final wishes of a much-loved taxi driver.
Mike Searles from Southsea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August and, after a fall this week saw him end up in Queen Alexandra Hospital, he has also been diagnosed with sepsis.
The 62-year-old, who has spent years working for Aqua Cars, is now facing a move to Rowans Hospice but his neighbours and work colleagues have come together to help fundraise for his funeral.
Pat Daniels has lived in the same block as Mike for five years and has been helping care for him since the summer.
The 59-year-old shop worker said: ‘I just didn’t want to let him go through it alone because no-one should have to face it alone.
‘Everyone is affected by cancer and he is such a gentlemen and I think he, just like anyone, needed someone to be there and talk to. The money will mean he doesn’t have to worry. His friends at the Cha Chas bar and the Auckland Arms are also raising money for him.’
Pat’s daughter Carly Trezise said: ‘He is such a nice man and always has time for our family.
‘We wanted to make sure that he isn’t worrying about anything in his final few days and that he gets his final wishes granted. He has been very specific about what he wants for his funeral and we wanted to make sure it will be just that, and not what is cheapest or quickest.’
The group is aiming to raise £4,000 to give Mike the send-off he deserves.
Carly, 33, added: ‘My mum has a heart of gold and she has been caring for him over the last few months. Mike sent her a thank you card for everything she has done for him which just shows what a lovely person he is and that even when he is so ill he still wants to show his thanks,’
Aqua Cars general manager Bruce Hall said: ‘I am absolutely gutted for him. He was nice bloke and as good as gold.
‘He has worked here for years and years and he just came in and got the job done.’
To donate visit gofundme.com/f/xadwgy-mikes-final-wishes