26 November 2013
More than £1,000 has been raised for a Colchester hospital unit in memory of a popular father who died 18 months ago from cancer at the age of 45.
In the five years leading up to his death from myeloma last May, Adrian Parker raised more than £20,000 for the Haematology Day Unit at Colchester General Hospital where he had chemotherapy.
Adrian, who lived in Goldcrest Close, Colchester, set up the "Parker Gees Haematology Fund" because he was so pleased with the care he received there. The fund took its name from the estate agents he co-owned in Station Road, Clacton.
The latest donations consist of £266 from a sponsored head shave and £826 from the Adrian Parker Memorial Trophy six-a-side football tournament played on 8 September at Clacton FC and organised by his friend Lee Burgoyne.
Adrian's father Dave Parker, of Martinsdale, Great Clacton, said: "For seven years I managed the Tiptree boys football team which Adrian played in and he kept in touch with many of the lads for the rest of his life.
"One of them, Craig Campbell, who was also a school friend, had his head shaved in The Ship pub in Tiptree, and estate agents he knew and the people they used to deal with, like builders and surveyors, organised a memorial football tournament in Adrian's name."
Adrian raised money for the Parker Gees Haematology Fund in many ways, which included donating £50 for every property sold and completed within one month and organising a grand charity dance at Valley Farm Caravan Park, Clacton, attended by 600 people, which brought in £5,000.
Money donated to the fund was spent in various ways, such as on educational courses for nurses, on buying drip stands, a wall-mounted television for a day room and leaflets and booklets for patients.
Adrian, who lived in Thorpe Road, Clacton, before moving to Colchester, left a wife, Karen, and daughters, Hayley, who is now 25, and Stephanie, now 22.
Jo Tonkin, a nurse consultant in haematology who was involved in Adrian's care, said the unit had been overwhelmed by the latest support it had received from his friends and family.
"Adrian was a tremendous supporter of the unit and it is wonderful that his friends and family continue that support now that he is no longer with us," she said.
"This latest donation will be put towards the £1,400 cost of a new treatment chair for the unit."
Jo explained that the chair would be electronic so it can easily be reclined, will include a side table and be extremely easy to clean which is important for infection control reasons.
She and Adrian's main consultant, haematologist Dr Mike Hamblin, attended the grand charity dance, which was held in November 2007.
Last month, the Mary Barron Suite chemotherapy unit relocated from Essex County Hospital to Colchester General Hospital to merge with the Haematology Day Unit. The facility is now known as the "Mary Barron and Haematology Day Unit."