Tributes paid to ‘funny and friendly’ 30-year-old after ‘one-in-a-million’ cancer battle
PUBLISHED: 16:03 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:40 18 June 2020
Heartfelt tributes have been paid after a popular man died from a rare form of cancer, aged just 30.
Family and friends of David Chapman, from Lowestoft, have hailed the bravery and courage that the ardent West Ham United fan had shown during his battle with a “one-in-a-million” type of cancer.
He had been diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer in the bladder, called Angiosarcoma, just a few days after his 30th birthday last August.
His family said that David “never once complained” about the pain he was suffering, as he took “every single hospital appointment and every treatment and surgery in his stride.”
Mr Chapman was given the all clear and was told he was cancer free at the beginning of May, but just three weeks later it was discovered that the cancer had returned and spread to his stomach.
The 30-year-old died peacefully, surrounded by his family, at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London on May 29.
Sister Emily said her brother had touched many hearts.
Ms Chapman said: “We will love and remember David every single day of our lives.
“The way he touched every single person that he met, we will never ever stop keeping his memory alive.
“He put up the fight of his life and never ever complained once about what he was going through.”
With the family “eternally grateful” for the support and care that Mr Chapman had received during treatment at The Royal Marsden Hospital in South Kensington, London, they set up a GoFundMe Memorial Fund page last week with the aim of raising £1,000 for the hospital to research a cure into this particular type of cancer.
With the hope that David’s legacy will live on, and other families can be helped in the future through this research into a cure, the fund has already topped £10,300 in just six days.
Ms Chapman said: “Angiosarcoma is a type of cancer which is so rare that roughly one-in-a-million people end up being diagnosed.
“David was lucky enough to be treated at The Royal Marsden Hospital by the expert Sarcoma team who did everything they could to save David’s life.
“We will always be eternally grateful for the care that he received. They treated David with such dignity from the day he walked in and up to his final moments.
“David’s cancer is so so rare it’s often not seen by many doctors and the Sarcoma team at The Royal Marsden unfortunately do not have the funding they need to be able to do the research to find the cure.
“I know that David would want us to do all we can to raise money into research for this type of cancer so that no family have to go through losing a loved one to this awful and cruel disease.”
Mr Chapman’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, June 23 at Waveney Memorial Park and Crematorium in Beccles.
As the family has asked for donations instead of flowers, you can pledge support www.gofundme.com/f/memorial-fund-for-david-chapman
‘Come On You Irons!’
Born in east London, Mr Chapman moved to Lowestoft with his family when he was six.
A former Dell Primary, Elm Tree Middle and Kirkley High School pupil, he loved football and had been a West Ham United season ticket holder since he was 15.
For years he worked nights at Asda, and then last year he started a new job at Aviva in Norwich.
Ms Chapman said: “David was so funny and really friendly.
“He loved the simple things in life – going to football, spending time with friends and family.
“He really loved football and had so many friends – a group of friends from school, who were still his best mates - including Anthony Ogogo.
“He has taken a huge piece of us with him that will never ever be replaced.
“Life will never be the same, but his family and friends will continue to live life for him.”
In tribute to his friend, on May 29 Mr Ogogo Tweeted: “Love you bro @DavidChapman66 until we meet again. RIP Chappo.”
Throughout the chemotherapy, constant trips to and from hospital and major surgery, Mr Chapman maintained his positivity.
After suffering stomach pains, the Aviva worker was diagnosed with a type of cancer that was “so, so rare” it proved very difficult to detect.
Ms Chapman said: “To be told days after his 30th birthday he had cancer, and to then go through everything as he did we are so proud of him for the way he handled the awful cards he was dealt.
“He touched so many people – even in that hospital – he was such a friendly person.
“David was an absolute trooper and never complained or moaned – despite the many hospital stays, appointments, chemo and surgery he had – he was so brave.” With the family praising the “amazing care” David received, they are keen to leave a legacy for others as funds are raised for research into a cure.
Ms Chapman said: “We are asking for immediate family flowers only, but if you would like to make a donation, we are raising money for The Royal Marsden Charity Sarcoma Team.
“The care David had at the Royal Marsden was absolutely amazing.
“Unfortunately they do not have their own direct charity link so we are going to be raising money on their behalf to donate directly to them after David’s funeral.
“Please give what you can as this money will be so useful for more research to be done.
“We will be delivering a cheque to The Royal Marsden Hospital to give to the team directly as one last thank you for everything they did for David and our family.”
‘Unreal amount raised’
With this type of cancer being so rare, the Chapman family praised the efforts of The Royal Marsden Sarcoma team who “tried so hard” during David’s battle.
Ms Chapman said: “They need money and funds to be raised for the reaserch into this type of cancer as it is so, so rare.
“The amount we have raised so far is just unreal.
I said if we could raise £1,000 it would be fantastic - so to have already raised £10,000 is just amazing.
“While I can’t believe the support the fund has had, David was known by so many people.
“We have also had West Ham fans from all over the country contributing.
“Its really unbelievable the support and kindness we’ve had.
“Part of the legacy is to raise monies to help others, and if this can help just one family going through the horrible disease which David had eight months of, it would make us so happy.”
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