STALYBRIDGE man Harry Knight is volunteering at a cancer unit as a thank you for “care and kindness” offered to him and his late wife as they both battled the disease.
Harry, from Heyrod, lost his wife Pauline after 50 years together in January 2014 following her treatment for lung cancer.
The 73-year-old, a retired tailor and form-maker, had also been diagnosed with lung cancer within days of Pauline and was successfully treated through surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital and radiotherapy at the Royal Oldham Hospital.
Pauline, who was a mobile hairdresser and tai chi instructor, was cared for by Macmillan Nurses during her final weeks.
“Macmillan was there for us as a family when Pauline was very ill, and they helped make her passing as comfortable and peaceful as it could be,” said Harry, who has two daughters who will be remembering Pauline on the anniversary of her death at the end of January by visiting a favourite spot at Dovestone Reservoir.
Harry has spent the past 18 months as a volunteer working two mornings a week at Tameside Macmillan Unit at Tameside General Hospital.
“It’s my way of giving back the care and kindness given to Pauline and us as a family,” said Harry.
“People come in here to have their chemotherapy treatment or to get help with signs and symptoms or get help with understanding benefits and Macmillan grants, but a lot of people just come in for a chat and to talk to someone who understands what they’re going through,” said Harry.
“I get a lot out of being able to help people and listen to what they’ve got to say. It doesn’t matter if they’re a carer or a patient or someone who is worried about symptoms, the door is always open here and there’s always a brew and a biscuit if not a cake.”
David Banks, Tameside Macmillan Unit manager, said: “Harry is one of our team of brilliant volunteers, who make this centre what it is.
“They are always here to offer a friendly smile and time to talk. Harry has helped countless people over the months and really understands what people are going through having lost Pauline and undergone cancer treatment himself.
“He also underwent Macmillan training to deliver our Hope courses to help people overcome problem effectively. He’s very special.”