Remembering Nick Pope

(Blog #3)

Wednesday 17th February 2016

At Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation we like to remember our heroes.

Born in West Kirby on October 26th 1954, Nick Pope was a loving father, husband and grandfather. Not only a family man, Nick was also a successful writer - his first published novel, a gripping thriller called ‘Off Plan’, received widespread critical acclaim and now has a five star Amazon rating. Proceeds from the book went directly to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation to raise money for further lung cancer research and treatments.  

In 2009, Nick set up his own consultancy business, wanting to move away from the type of global organisations he had previously worked for and to allow himself more time for writing and the outdoor pursuits he loved, such as walking, cycling and golf.

Despite this active lifestyle, Nick began to notice an unusual decrease in his energy levels and knew instinctively that something was wrong. Initially, Nick was found to have an 8cm tumour in this throat, which specialists diagnosed as throat cancer. After several scans, it was discovered that he also had tumours in his right lung; devastating news for both himself and his family. Despite undergoing several rounds of treatment, Nick passed away on 17th February 2014. Today is the second year anniversary of his passing.

We want to celebrate the life of this wonderful man, whose positive spirit and determination is an inspiration to us all. Nick’s wish was to spread awareness, advocating the importance of early diagnosis – and we want to honour this wish. He believed that adopting a positive mental state could help achieve a good quality of life; despite his illness, Nick still attended the gym several times a week, cycled and played golf. He also recognised that an insufficient amount of money is being allocated to lung cancer research, even though lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK.

The ‘Radda’ Cup, an annual golf event held in the Wirral, was originally launched by Nick Pope and Wallasey Golf Club. Since his death in 2014, the event has been continued by many including Nick’s wife, Sue, and his friends Peter and Chris. The event alone raised over £30,000 for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and, if you’re wondering about the name, it’s how Seve Ballesteros, another legend we have lost to cancer, pronounced the ‘Ryder’ Cup!

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said, “Nick Pope showed incredible courage through the most difficult of times and the Radda Cup is a fitting legacy. The efforts of his wife and friends give us all the motivation we need to continue our lung cancer research and run our information and support services for lung cancer patients, their families and carers.”

Nick also has a tribute page (http://nick.pope.muchloved.com/) which has raised £45,265.25 to date.  

Two years on from Nick’s death, we want to share more about the legacy this great man created. As part of the campaign ‘Alive in the Face of Death’, Nick is photographed alongside acclaimed photographer Rankin, which captures his enigmatic spirit perfectly. Dr Phil Crosby (right) is based at the University of Manchester. Phil is searching for blood biomarkers that will one day make early detection of lung cancer possible for many thousands of patients, leading to improved survival rates. This is the specific area of lung cancer research that Nick wanted to focus on – researchers like Phil are making Nick’s wish a reality.

    

Professor Ray Donnelly, president and founder of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, summarises our view on Nick perfectly: “everyone at the Roy Castle Foundation and, more importantly, everyone whom the Foundation exists to help, both now and in the future, owe Nick a real debt of gratitude for his loyal, steadfast and truly effective support. Thank you. You will not be forgotten.”

By Hannah-Ruth Cahill, Marketing Officer

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