Community raises £500 in memory of avid Norwich City fan and popular town figure
- Credit: Archant
The Beccles community have come together to raise funds for skin tumour research after a well-loved member of the community died after an 19 year battle with cancer.
Since 1999, Gordon Shiplee of Rigbourne Hill in Beccles fought bowel, liver and an aggressive form of skin cancer until he died this year on August 18.
The Shiplee family asked funeral attendees to donate to the research project to commemorate their father, husband and grandfather.
Gordon worked as a plumber for the local council all of his life boasting an extensive knowledge of the saints between Bungay and Halesworth.
According to his son Glenn, he was also well know in the Southwold area and made lots of friends there over the years.
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Mr Shiplee said: 'When he started there was no council van and dad had to bike everywhere with his tools on the bike.'
In 2001 Gordon was diagnosed with liver cancer and had half of his liver cut out at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.
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After 12 years cancer free, his playfully nicknamed 'old man's spot' on the back of his head developed in a skin cancer and after an operation to remove it and 15 sessions of radiotherapy, the form of cancer reappeared two years later.
'He had another major operation on his neck to remove the aggressive cancer, where in the operation they had to cut some of the nerves in his neck and remove more than 40 lymph nodes.
'This caused the side of his face to drop and he had to have an operation to put small leads in his eyelid to help it close,' Mr Shiplee said.
In the midst of this, he was suffering with Parkinson's lewy body dementia.
For his skin cancer, the avid Norwich City Football fan built great friendships with his consultants, doctors and professor who were working on his illness.
In the last years of his life, he became close to Mr Mark Moncrieff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
After his death both Mr Shiplee and his brother Stephen came together to raise funds to support the work the nurses, doctors and staff who helped their dad on his journey.
In total £500.00 was raised by the community and donated to Skin Tumor Research Fund in Norwich.