The friends and family of a much-loved Chester man battling a brain tumour are rallying together to raise money in his honour.
Popular Danny Jones, of Boughton, had not even reached his 30th birthday when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2012, just days after a scan showed he and his wife Tara were about to become parents to a baby boy.
The couple had only been married for a year when Danny, who was a community coach for Chester City and Chester FC , had to undergo brain surgery for the grade four tumour, and over the past two years has endured radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and since September has been confined to a wheelchair.
But Danny, now 31, and dad to Holly, 10, and Franklin, two, has been buoyed by the constant efforts from his loved ones to raise money for Brain Tumour Research - activities that have included climbing Mount Snowdon, charity dinners and even wearing funny hats.
In fact, so many people showed interest in fundraising for Danny that it inspired Tara, 28, to set up the Franklin’s Star charity, a result of an amusing home video of the little boy wearing a onesie.
Tara said: “The charity was born out of chance. It was just a funny video of Franklin captured on my phone after he received a new Gruffalo onesie and we wanted to make a ‘scary’ thank you message.
“But it was Franklin who ultimately got the fright when he slipped over in comedy fashion, reacting to my ‘Raaa’, and the video went viral! We soon had copycats including Franklin’s big sister Holly, and I quickly realised I needed to run with this.
“We have raised thousands of pounds already, and we knew the charity we raised for had to be Brain Tumour Research, after discovering less than 1% of research funding is spent on brain cancer. But although we hope to raise as much as we can, it’s not about the money, it’s about raising awareness of the fact that brain tumour is woefully under-funded.”
“Right now, Danny is struggling as he has just reached the one year point of having constant treatment. His body has taken a hammering, since September he has struggled with reduced movement and he is now confined to a wheelchair which Franklin calls Daddy’s push-push,” added Tara.
And the huge success of the fundraising has only confirmed what Tara already knew - how well-loved and popular her husband is.
“Danny is so well known in Chester, my friends always joke that when we are with him, we can rarely walk five feet without being stopped, chatted to or asked for his opinion on the latest Premiership or local football game,” said Tara.
“He has been working in local football and primary schools for over a decade and is a wonderful football coach, not to mention a complete charmer. Is it too cliché to say ‘he had me at hello, because he did.
“But he’s been amazing throughout this illness, and taken it all on the chin. He really is Franklin’s Star. He’s remarkable.”
For more details on the fundraising events being held for Danny, and how you can donate, click here