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Visit to Anfield on 'bucket list'
THE FAMILY of a brave young man who fought a malignant brain tumour for more than a year have paid tribute to his courage and kindness.
When Shaun Fitzpatrick learned his condition was terminal, the determined 22-year-old drew up a so-called ‘Bucket List’ of things he wanted to do in the time he had left. With the help of his family, he then packed a huge amount into his final months.
He took a ride in a hot air balloon, went to see shows The Lion King and Blood Brothers, took rides in a Ferrari and Aston Martin, went on a Harley Davidson, and enjoyed a champagne limousine trip around London.
He also paid a visit to Anfield, the home of his beloved Liverpool FC, where he was able to meet some of his football heroes.
The builder and engineer also devoted a lot of his time to raising money for charity, raising about £700 by abseiling down Southampton General Hospital, and £5,000 for brainstrust through a charity fundraiser last September. He also insisted that money was raised for charity CLIC Sargent at his wake, which was held in The Academy, Worting Road.
His mum Julie, 45, said: “He was always there for everyone else. Even at the end, when he was in a lot of pain, the nurses would ask him if he was worried about something, and he would just say he was worried about us.”
Shaun never lost his strong sense of humour and insisted that the first song played at his funeral was the BeeGees anthem Stayin’ Alive, though his family drew the line at his request for Queen song Another One Bites the Dust.
Adamant that he wanted his funeral to be a knees-up, rather than a sombre occasion, he also chose to have his coffin travel through the streets of Basingstoke in a motorcycle side-car.
His dad, Mike, 46, said: “He lived a very full life. There were people queuing up to attend his funeral. There must have been 300 or so people there.”
He said that despite the pain his son was in, he had fought his illness with great courage to the end.
Shaun, a former Fort Hill Community School pupil, discovered last June that he had two cancerous tumours – one near the top of his skull and one around his brain stem, which were linked by a string of tumour tissue.
He was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumour. It affects just two or three people in every 100,000, mainly men over the age of 50.
Shaun, who was supported by district nurses and at St Michael’s Hospice , in Basingstoke, passed away on July 7 at home in Wicklow Close, Buckskin, Basingstoke, surrounded by loved ones including his sister Yvette, 28, and brother Aaron, 24.
In March, around 30 members of Shaun’s family gathered for a joint holiday in Tavistock, Devon, where Shaun presented each of them with a small, personal gift.
The family have decided to continue the tradition in his memory every March and will exchange small gifts in their own ‘Secret Shaun’ take on Secret Santa.