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Match of the day for charities

Footballers are reuniting for the latest fund-raising

match inspired by a brave brother and sister who

have overcome serious illness. Deborah Wain reports


VER the last three years, former Chesterfield Sunday League

players have battled it out for the ‘MaddiFin Cup’ and

collected over £3,000 for charities. The event is in honour of

Maddison and Finlay Share, whose dad Richard used to play.

Finlay underwent surgery for a brain tumour at the age of five.

Within six months of Finlay’s operation, Maddison, aged just two, was

diagnosed with leukaemia.

Finlay, now 11, and Maddison, eight, who both attend Walton

Holymoorside Primary School, are today doing well.

Seeing the devastating impact of the children’s illnesses on Richard,

their mum Lisa, and the rest of the family, prompted Richard’s friends

to establish the fund-raising game. Cancer charities Bloodwise and

CLIC Sargent have shared £3,000 so far in proceeds.

Organiser, Neil Hutchinson, said: “We wanted to do something to say

thank you to the charities that helped the family. Both Maddison and

Finlay have had a tough start to life but have managed to battle

through and show great courage to now live a normal, mischievous


Finlay was suffering up to 25 seizures a day as a result of a golf ballsized

hypothalamic hamartoma - a rare non-cancerous tumour within

the hypothalamus region of the brain which regulates many important

functions like hunger, thirst, temperature and hormone regulation. In

2012, surgeons at Sheffield Children’s Hospital operated for nine

hours to hollow out the tumour and reduce its size.

The surgery, along with daily medication, mean the seizures Finlay

has now are much less frequent although he still faces challenges

due to his condition.

Maddison was aged two when a rash prompted her parents to take

her to see a doctor. She was eventually referred to the Sheffield


Children’s Hospital where

blood tests confirmed the

devastating news she had

the blood cancer


Richard, who is a

bricklayer, recalled: “It

was only six months after

Finlay’s surgery and we

were back at the hospital

getting this news. We’d

never even considered

anything like that.

“With Maddison, the experience was very different to Finlay. His

brain tumour was rare and nobody knew very much whereas we were

bombarded with information about leukaemia.

“I couldn’t talk to anyone at first. I kept questioning why it was

happening, but it was just bad luck. Then I carried on with a smile on

my face – for them and for myself – because you have to.”

After Maddison underwent six months of intense chemotherapy,

blood transfusions and other treatments, the family were told the

cancer was in remission, however a further 18 months of treatment

was required. Now Maddison has a check-up every year.

Richard described the support from his footballer friends as

“Brilliant - It’s amazing what they’ve done.”

The match has previously taken place at the Proact Stadium but this

year it is at the Inkersall Road ground of Staveley MW FC. It takes

place on 12th May, with a noon kick-off. It is the Rangers, managed

by Neil, versus The Victorians, run by Neil’s brother Ian.

All are welcome to attend the event, which has a fun, family feel.

Hospice hosts special wedding


COUPLE had their dream wedding at

Ashgate Hospice after the groom

was told he had only days to live.

Gavin Parkes and his partner Lori Gregory

exchanged vows before family and friends

in a beautiful wedding organised in less

than two days. Gavin sadly died in April,

aged just 39.

The couple, from Pilsley, pledged after

their wedding to raise money for the

hospice in order for more patients can have

the care they need and have their dying

wishes fulfilled.

Gavin, a kitchen fitter, was diagnosed with

bladder cancer just before Christmas last

year, only months after Lori, gave birth to

their son, Fletcher.

Earlier this year, they received the

devastating news that Gavin had a

particularly aggressive form of bladder

cancer, very rare in somebody of his age,

and that it was incurable.

The couple had planned to get married this

summer, however, Gavin’s condition took a

turn for the worse and he was admitted to

Ashgate Hospicecare for around the clock

specialist care. Gavin’s condition continued

to deteriorate, and he was told that he

might only live another few days.

While on the ward, Lori expressed their

wish to get married to one of the hospice

Gavin and Lori on their big day

chaplains. The wedding was held in a

sunroom built last summer thanks to a

grant from Westfield Health Charitable

Trust while other businesses contributed

goods and services free of charge.

Although the wedding left Gavin

exhausted, he was able to join in for most of

it, and afterwards described it as an

“amazing day”.

He said: “I feel so fortunate that we were

able to have our dream wedding with

thanks to the staff and the local businesses

Brother and sister

Finlay and

Maddison Share

that made it a reality in such a short time.

“The care at the hospice has been

excellent; I’ve been waited on hand and foot

by the staff and volunteers!”

Lori added: “The wedding was incredible

and we had an absolutely amazing day.

Having it in the new sunroom meant that we

felt a million miles away from a clinical

environment. It was simply beautiful and

we will all cherish our memories from that


“The hospice has helped us so much, not

just with the wedding, but with Gavin’s care

both on the ward and at home. All we want is

for more people to be able to receive such a

high level of care when they need it. I’ve

started a JustGiving page to raise funds for

the hospice and my target is to raise enough

money for another patient to have their

dream wedding.”

Companies who contributed to Gavin and

Lori’s wedding included Fresh Ideas,

Weddings by Dragonfly, Jade’s Delights, GW

Price Ltd, Cottam Carriages, RW

Photography, DC Live Photography, The

Makeup Studio and Hair by Olivia James. The

Ashgate Hospicecare shop at Clay Cross

steamed the bride’s dress and groom’s suit

and a wedding buffet was put together by

hospice kitchen staff.

To support Lori’s fund-raising, visit

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