Tributes have flooded in for a ‘kind, clever and brave’ RAF airman who jumped at the chance to marry his childhood sweetheart before he passed away after losing his battle with cancer.
Tom Bradshaw, 23, sadly died on Saturday, December 12- just nine months after being diagnosed with a rare form of the disease.
The loving dad had attracted the attention of national media and won hearts across the country after coming up with the idea of recording himself reading bedtime stories to his baby daughter, Willow, so that he would always be with her.
In September last year, he also announced his upcoming wedding to partner of six and half years, Chelsea, and the happy pair were married on October 9 at Worksop Registry Office.
Tom’s new wife, parents and two sisters paid tribute to their “kind, clever, brave and incredibly hardworking loved one”, who joined the RAF at 16 and went on to serve in the Falklands for six months.
Chelsea said: “The main thing we want to get across is that Tom wasn’t defined by cancer. He was more than cancer- he had 22 years of happiness before he was diagnosed.
“He was truly a family man who wanted nothing more than to protect his relatives and be surrounded by them all the time.
“His sense of humour and positivity were unbelievable. More or less until the very end, he was laughing along with us- that’s what kept us going.”
Tom’s sister, Claire Nunn, added: “He fought every day to be here with his family, always with a smile on his face and never complaining during the grueling treatments he underwent.”
Residents who donated to Tom’s gofundme page so that Tom could spend fun-filled family days with Willow, along with Worksop businesses that rallied round and donated items to make Tom’s dream wedding a possibility, were also commended.
“All Occasions venue stylists, Worksop Football Club, Cupid Carriages, Sugar and Silk Cake Craft, Lee Archer Photography and Wedding Wishes Worksop all chipped in to make the day special,” said Chelsea.
“We would also like say a huge thank you to medical staff at the Weston Park Teenage Cancer Unit in Sheffield, who were wonderful with Tom during his treatment. We can’t thank them enough.
“Myself and Claire along with other members of our family will be undertaking fundraising for them in the future, and hope that people will continue to support us. We are so determined to give something back.”
Tom’s family have asked that anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory do so to the Weston Park Teenage Cancer Unit at www.justgiving.com/westonparkhospital/donate