The heartbreaking picture of tragic dad with his son - and the incredible way he is being remembered
26.05.2023 - 12:49
A picture of Austin Hill with his arm around his dad, Mark, on holiday in Greece in 2021 captures the love between them. It was taken just two weeks after Mark had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Tragically, Mark did not recover from his diagnosis. The teacher, who worked at the Radclyffe School in Chadderton, passed away on December 30 last year.
But inspirational Austin has been determined to pay tribute to his father and say thank to you to those who helped him. Every day this month, the seven-year-old has walked a mile or more in memory of his dad to raise funds for the hospice where he spent his final days.
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The sponsored walking is the seven-year-old's way of saying thank you to hospice staff who brought last Christmas forward so he could spend precious special time with his dad. His treks have raised £900 for Dr Kershaw's Hospice in Oldham and £2,877 for Bowel Cancer UK. Find out how you can donate below.
Austin's mum, Karen, 44, said: "I'm so proud of him. He keeps saying to me now we have raised money 'will the scientists be able to get people well and look after them now'. He has walked after school - the aim was a mile a day in May for Mark.
"We did walks near where we live in High Crompton and others were more organised as people wanted to join us at Tandle Hill in Royton and around Hollingworth Lake. He has already completed his 31 miles - one for each day of the month - but we are carrying on."
Karen and Austin felt compelled to help the Hospice after the kindness and understanding staff showed them when caring for Mark. Karen said: "Mark was at home last December - just taking paracetamol. His chemotherpary was no longer working and