Lasting legacy for Southsea rugby player Adam Long who inspired £100,000 fundraiser for his cancer treatment before tragic death
THE 'totally selfless' rugby player who inspired more than £100,000 in donations for his cancer treatment before his tragic death has left a 'legacy' of fundraising, his family has said.
Adam Long, from Southsea, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer at the age of 23 in 2015, undergoing five rounds of chemotherapy to save his life. Tragically, the day after he returned from his honeymoon in Croatia with new wife Georgia last year, doctors told Adam the cancer was once again aggressively spreading.
The Portsmouth Rugby Football Club player embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to undergo groundbreaking immunotherapy treatment at Southampton General Hospital as a last attempt to keep him alive.
Speaking at a charity match held in Adam's honour at Clarence Pier Sports Ground on Saturday, Georgia said she could not 'say thank you enough' to everyone who had supported the couple.
She said: 'It's incredible that people are so kind.
'And it shows his character that so many people were backing him - he was very friendly and very kind.
'He was like a magnet with his personality.'
Adam's father, Ian Long, was presented with a rugby shirt in memory of his son at the 'bittersweet' event in aid of Rugby Against Cancer, a Portsmouth group founded by Adam's teammates.
Ian said: 'I have not lost a son, I have lost a best friend.
'He never lost hope - he didn't want to call it a fight, because he didn't want to think about losing, so we call it his journey.
'Adam would be chuffed that his journey has left a legacy.'
As well as inspiring hundreds of people to fundraise for cancer charities, Adam taught others to 'embrace life,' Georgia said.
The 25-year old added: 'I still have my bad days, but I try to embrace life as much as possible – Adam was a big character and he would want me to love life as he did.
'His death has changed me as a person.
'I now see life differently – you realise what really matters.'
Adam died in his home on Stowe Road, Southsea, surrounded by his family, age 27 on May 6 this year.