Dad succumbs to cancer before holiday planned by young son and family

A Blackpool family has thanked kind supporters after a dad succumbed to cancer before he could enjoy a last holiday planned by his young son and the family

Friday, 7th May 2021, 3:18 pm
Kai Ryder, 11, with older brother Haydyn, holds his favourite photograph of him and his dad, Rob Ryder, who died of cancer.

South Shore youngster Kai Ryder had been desperate to try to do something to help after hearing the shock news last year that his dad, 42 year old Rob Ryder had incurable cancer.

Kai, now age 11, of Saville Road, helped to raise £1,000 towards a special holiday after begging his mum and gran to help him find a way to do something for his dad.

His family raised the money from a charity night and giant raffle in August last year at the Happy Scots Bar on Rigby Road, Blackpool, which is run by family friend Hamish Howitt.

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Kai Ryder with dad Rob, last year

The funds were enough for a holiday to Egypt, planned with Rob and his partner Nicola and her daughter Poppy, aged 11, with the money used for a deposit, but with Rob's death it has not yet been decided what to do with those funds.

Rob, who was living on Sylvia Road, Chorley but previously worked in Blackpool as a doorman, had been determined to try and stay well enough for the holiday, planned for later this month.

But despite staying positive through months of gruelling chemotherapy, his condition deteriorated and he died in St Catherine's Hospice in Preston last week.

Gran Jeanette Hyde , 60, who lives opposite Kai on Saville Road, Blackpool, said: "Rob was a gentle giant who would do anything for anyone and he was a brilliant dad.

"When he became ill Kai just wanted to do something and we helped him organise a fundraising night last year which raised £1,000, thanks to local shops offering raffle prizes.

"Rob was trying to hang on so he could make it for the holiday.

"But he just got really ill quicker than anyone expected and we were all devastated when he died, especially Kai. It's hit him really hard.

"We would just like to thank everyone who has helped and also the kindness people have shown since Rob died."

In one incident, a staff member at a Blackpool supermarket who was helping Kai's mum Toni order a photo of Kai and Rob on canvas was so moved by the story, she insisted on paying the cost herself.

At Kai's football club, Foxhall FC, his under-11s team held a minute's silence before kick-off.

And Kai's school, Thames Primary School in Blackpool,staff have also been supportive.

Kai, who lives with mum Toni Travis, 38, and his older brother Haydyn,16, had been with Rob back in April last year when his dad fell down stairs at his home and was collapsed in agony on the floor.

What no one knew then was that Rob’s leg pain, which had been giving him trouble for some time, wasn’t sciatica as he believed. After being rushed to hospital with a suspected broken leg, it was discovered that he had cancer in his hip.

Sadly, it was secondary cancer, which spread from a tumour in his colon that had been silently growing for almost a year,

And in June, self-employed Rob was told the cancer had spread to his bones, meaning Rob was beyond a cure.

Friends rallied and one pal raised £1,500 for Rob while he struggled with loss of income while making benefit claims.

But the cancer continued to spread.

Rob’s funeral will be held at Charnock Richard Crematorium tomorrow (Tuesday).

At the Happy Scots Bar, Hamish Howitt said this week: “Rob was a fabulous man, he lit up the world, never mind the room. He had a beautiful smile.

“He was my doorman for a number of years but in all that time I never saw him in a single fight, he just difused everything, he was the original gentle giant.

“When friends of mine in the business heard he had died, I had people from Edinburgh, Manchester and all over the country telling me they couldn’t believe he’d gone.

“I just properly loved the man and I was happy to put money behind the bar for the charity night last year.

“The sad thing is that, because of Covid, we can’t all get down to his funeral service.

“I’ll be parked up a bit away from the church - I won’t be able to go in but I’ll still be over there.

“And in June, when we’re able to open up again properly, we’re going to have a wake at the bar and raise more money for his kids.

“He really was that kind of person, people loved him.