Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a Worksop worker and charity champion who continued to raise funds from his hospital room during treatment.
Kamal Aftab, 32, an optometrist at Specsavers, Bridge Street, died on Friday, August 7, after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) just two months ago.
Colleagues, family members and friends of Mr Aftab, who worked at the town branch for around 10 years, have today told of their heartbreak.
Matthew Bevan, 24, a hearing care assistant at the store, told the Guardian: “He was an all round top bloke.
“He was always the first one to donate to anything to do with charity.”
The news came as a ‘massive shock’ to his fellow workers who had been on shift at the time of the announcement.
“We found out in the afternoon on Friday,” Matthew added.
“It was a massive shock.
“It numbed everyone.
Despite his diagnosis, Mr Aftab, of Huddersfield, who was named National Volunteer of the Year 2014-2015 by the Guardian national newspaper, continued to try raise £50,000 by completing a ‘Hospital Marathon’ in which he would walk around his five sqm treatment room, at St James’ Hospital, Leeds, recording his steps along the way.
The total amount raised on his Just Giving page currently stands at more than £19,000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Describing the illness as ‘one of the toughest challenges’ of his life, he wrote on the page: “Cancer, acute myeloid leukaemia in my case, has only deepened my love of volunteering and only heightened my realisation of how important charity is.”
A message has also been also posted on behalf of his family and friends, it said: “Kamal was an amazing human being, full of vibrancy and charity, who always placed others before himself. To honour his life and legacy, a large group of his family and friends are now continuing his challenge by helping the meet the £50,000.”