A dad with incurable cancer has helped others going through the same ordeal by raising cash to the tune of over £10,000.
Former headteacher Dave Markham teamed up with friend Mike Lydiat to perform charity musical concerts after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago.
And they have been hailed as ‘inspirational’ after their gigs at schools and pubs boosted Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
Dave, aged 58, from Stannington, said: “It took me a long time to get my head around being diagnosed with cancer.
“My diagnosis and treatment meant I was no longer able to continue with my career as a headteacher and I found myself searching for something else to focus on.”
Dad-of-three Dave was diagnosed at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and had a radical operation to remove his prostate gland.
But doctors then found the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes.
He had a course of radiotherapy at Weston Park Hospital and now attends the hospital every three months for injections, as well as taking daily drugs to alleviate symptoms.
He added: “Through music I found a real purpose again and knowing our work could benefit the lives of others living with cancer, it spurred us on to do more.
“We never expected to raise such a large amount of money from what started out as a hobby, but this has been a firm motivator for us to continue.”
Dave and Mike write and perform their own songs under the name Toffee Music - Two Old Fellas For Evening Entertainment - and have even released their own album. Sarah Cross, charity fundraiser at Weston Park Hospital, said: “Dave and Mike are truly inspirational and should be proud of what they have achieved.
“Their performances have been enjoyed by their audiences and helped Dave stay positive.
“The money raised will make a huge difference.”