'Covid meant we couldn't be there with anything more than words'

The brother in law of a devoted Leeds dad who died within 10 months of being diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer is set to take on three tough fundraising run challenges in his memory.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:00 am
Mathew Coles

Dad-of-two Matthew Coles, 47, of Garforth, was told at the start of April 2020 that he had terminal aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme.

His wife Joanne, 41, was by his side when he died at St Gemma's Hospice on December 27.

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Andy Messenger

Matthew and Joanne have a 12-year-old son, Max, and Matthew has another son, Harry, 21, from a previous relationship.

He was also step-dad to Joanne’s 22-year-old daughter Abigail.

Matthew's brother in law Andy Messenger, 36, is set to take on three fundraising challenges to raise cash for Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity - starting on Saturday March 27.

Andy, who is married to Joanne's sister Amy, said: "His loss was devastating for all of our family.

Joanne Coles, of Garforth pictured with son Max Coles, aged 12, and step-daughter Abigail Peacock, aged 22. ByLine: James Hardisty

"We shared so many memories with Matt over the years, he was a constant presence in our lives and we won't forget him.

"More often than not throughout the last months of Matt's life we felt helpless.

"Covid meant we couldn't be there with anything more than words, words which never felt enough.

"Hopefully through this fundraising I can give a little bit back, on behalf of all my family, in loving memory of Matt."

Andy is set to run for nine hours on a four mile loop for the first of his 'Miles for Matt' challenges on Saturday March 27.

On September 18 he will be competing in a 62 mile trail race from Guisborough to Filey on the Cleveland Way.

And on October 3 he hopes to be competing in the London Marathon in fancy dress as Matthew's favourite Star Wars character Bobba Fett.

Keen runner Andy said: "I will be training week in and week out, as I always do, but Matt is never far from my mind when I run at the moment.

"These challenges are for him and I hope I can raise some much needed funds in his memory."

Matthew worked as a development chemist at Rosemont Pharmaceuticals in Holbeck.

Click here to donate to Andy Messenger's JustGiving page for Yorkshire's Brain Tumour Charity.