Waterlooville man who lost wife to cancer spearheads campaign to help woman with terminal illness
A WATERLOOVILLE man who lost his wife to breast cancer when she was just 28 years old is spearheading a campaign to help a struggling family after a woman was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Derran Gates, who works for Ideal Boilers, revealed he felt compelled to help his 40-year-old customer who is battling the illness.
The bleak picture for the lady was compounded after her husband was recently made redundant – and they are now living off the remaining money from his pay-out.
The couple were also dealt a blow after their boiler was condemned, leaving them facing up to the possibility of forking out £800 for a new machine and having no heating or hot water as Christmas approaches.
But following Derran’s intervention, those in the heating industry have rallied around the beleaguered couple, who have two children aged 10 and 14.
A boiler has been donated by Universal Plumbing Supply in Southampton while a Go Fund Me page has been set up, which has already smashed its £700 target after raising £755 in just two days.
The money donated will now go towards the family’s Christmas.
Derran said: ‘I spoke to the lady and she was so tearful. I said I would do all I could to help.
‘Her husband was also very upset and was made redundant recently. They hardly have any money and are living off what little they have left. Having the boiler condemned was a further blow.’
Derran spread the word throughout his industry on social media resulting in over 8,000 views and numerous offers of support.
‘The woman said all the support they have received has restored her faith,’ said Derran. ‘It is a chance for them to forget what is happening and enjoy Christmas.’
‘The whole industry has been superb. It is devastating what they are going through especially with them having two young children.’
Derran went through heartache 11 years ago when he lost his wife Kelly Gates-Barber to breast cancer.
‘I know what the family are going through,’ Derran said. ‘Kelly was diagnosed when she was just 26 years old before passing away 18 months later. After finding out what this lady is going through I just had to help.’