The family of a tragic South Tynesider killed by cancer are raising money in a bid to prevent others facing the same heartache.
Kevin Farish was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2007 and, after having an operation, went into remission, but the cancer came back in January last year.
The 32-year-old, a former Royal Fusilier, died at home on Monday, May 19.
He had been receiving treatment for eight months at the Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, but his chemotherapy made him too ill to continue going there.
Now, the women in his family are running the Race For Life in his memory, calling themselves Kevin’s Girls, in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research.
The father of three, of Norham Avenue in South Shields, is survived by his mother and stepfather Carol and Kieron Mallin, siblings Kate Harvey and Andrew Mallin, partner Sammy Harte and his three children – Italia Laverick, 11, Maddison Laverick, nine, and Dylan Farish, two.
Mrs Mallin, 52, said: “He was a typical lad, and everyone loved him. He was never a troublemaker, and he’d always help people out however he could.
“He’s going to be a huge miss for everyone.”
Mr Mallin, 57, added: “Watching someone you love go through what we watched Kevin go through is heartbreaking. It was absolutely awful.
“If we can raise enough money to just help one person and stop one family going through what we’ve been through, then it’ll all be worth it.
The family’s Race for Life team, also including sister-in-law Stacey Tebble and cousin Gemma Grieves, are taking part in the event at Newcastle Racecourse on Sunday, July 20.
Mrs Mallin said: “We were always going to do something for charity, but we just never got round to it.
“Kevin would think we were all daft. He’d be laughing at us and saying we’ll never be able to do it. He was always taking the mick and having a laugh with everyone, but really he’d be proud of us.”
The ladies’ participation in the event was organised by Gemma, and she set an original fundraising target of £500, but they’ve already passed that, raising £863 so far.
A further £500 was raised for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the former football manager’s cancer charity, at Kevin’s funeral.
Mrs Mallin said: “This is only the first thing we’re doing.
“We’re planning on doing loads more for charity.”
Mr Farish met Sammy, 28, in 2010. She said: “He asked me out the first day I met him.
“He was such a romantic, and he was always surprising me every single week. He was such a great dad.”
Mr Mallin added: “We also need to thank the palliative care team and district nurses who came out to look after Kevin. They were wonderful.”
Gemma added: “We’re going to go out walking, and we’ve got some gym passes to help us prepare. There’s nine of us doing it all together. I think it will be fun at first, but it will get a bit emotional towards the end.”
To sponsor Kevin’s Girls, go to www.justgiving.com/ gemma-grieves, or text FAZZ86 followed by the amount you’d like to donate, for example FAZZ86 £5, to 70070.