Grieving mum Maria Lomas is planning to take part in this year’s Bubble Rush in memory of her soldier son Michael Hodgson, who died aged just 31.
His family have since made it their mission to raise funds for East Lancashire Hospice where he was cared for – and are encouraging others to follow suit.
Michael, who had served in the Army since the age of 16, was just 29 when he was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer.
In March 2015, Michael felt a tingling in his face and went to his GP. He was referred to a dentist and his Army GP before being referred to the hospital.
Just three days later he got the phone call to say he had a very rare form of cancer in his sinuses, which had spread to his brain.
Mum Maria said: “Michael had intensive chemo and radiotherapy which managed to reduce the size of the tumours, but we were told there was no cure.”
Michael, who served in the Duke of Lancaster Regiment before becoming a Lance Corporal in the Royal Engineers, left the barracks and moved to his mum’s home in Cheshire where he stayed for 15 months.
He was just starting to regain his fitness when he started with a pain in his shoulder. Tests revealed he had secondary cancer in his spine and lungs.
Michael, who lived in Russell Place, Great Harwood, moved back home and when the hospital could offer no longer ease Michael’s symptoms, he was moved to East Lancashire Hospice. He stayed at the hospice on and off for around 6-months, but his condition deteriorated and he died on 24 November 2017.
Maria said: “The hospice made such a difference. They tried everything to help him. The staff and volunteers care so much, and we can’t ever thank them enough.”
Maria’s family have continually fundraised for the hospice since Michael began treatment.
She said: “We raised thousands doing a brave the shave before his chemo, we’ve take part in Pretty Mudder, asked for donations instead of flowers at his funeral and we have held a memorial night too.”
Last year Maria, her daughter and her two grandchildren took part in the Bubble Rush – a family friendly fun run event where participants get to run or walk through a number of coloured foam stations.
Maria, her sister Angela, daughter Leanna, niece Amanda and Michael’s girlfriend Beth Aspinall are taking part in this year’s Bubble Rush on Saturday 27 April at Pleckgate High School’s playing fields in Blackburn.
Maria said: “The Bubble Rush was so much fun. All we did on the day was laugh. It was something anyone and everyone could take part in – whether you’re two or 82 and it’s all for a great cause.
“I know first-hand how important the services are. If people don’t continue to raise funds to support the charity, it might not be there for other families in the future.”
The second wave of tickets are now on sale at a reduced price of £15 per adult and £6 per child. For more information click here