A DOTING husband who raised cash for cancer research tragically died after being struck down with the disease in a cruel twist of fate at the age of just 42.
Last August Hartlepool’s Paul Royal was fit and healthy when he completed the Miles for Men course in aid of Cancer Research UK.
But within three months he had been diagnosed with incurable pancreatic and liver cancer.
Tragically, after a five-month battle, Paul passed away at Hartlepool & District Hospice on April 25, aged 42.
His devastated friends and family have today paid tribute to Paul ahead of this year’s Miles for Men event, which will be dedicated to him as a mark of respect.
Last year’s event raised £40,000 for Cancer Research UK and it was such a success that it will be rolled out to Liverpool and Newcastle as well this summer.
Paul, who worked for Clydesdale Forge, was among the 1,000 town men that ran, walked and jogged the three-mile route along Seaton Carew in aid of the national cancer charity.
Proud Paul finished in 18th place, managing to raise £240 in sponsorship, and was looking forward to taking part again this year.
At the time he was fit and healthy, but on November 30 he was given the devastating news that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer and was told the disease was not curable.
Paul then spent time at James Cook University Hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment and Hartlepool & District Hospice, in Wells Avenue, where he sadly passed away last month.
Paul was married to Lynsey Royal, 31, and the pair lived in Hartlepool and Paul was step-dad to Holly, 12.
Lynsey said: “Paul would have been honoured to know that the organiser’s are dedicating this year’s Miles for Men in honour of him.
“He supported it last year and he was looking forward to doing it again this year.
“We were not expecting him to pass away so soon and as far as he was concerned he was going to be taking part.
“He was known as ‘Popular Paul’, which is what I used to call him.
“We have all been left devastated by his death.”
Paul had an episode of pancreatitis in June last year but was otherwise fit and healthy before being diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.
Doctors told Paul in December that he had around 11-months to live but he had started to respond to his treatment.
Lynsey added: “Paul had planned to do Miles for Men again this year and would have done it in a wheelchair.
“He had plenty of friends and family that had offered to push him round.”
Father-of-three Michael Day, 39, launched Miles for Men in memory of his dad Michael Senior, who died of throat cancer in 2007, aged 67.
Single Michael, of Innes Road, said: “This year’s event is going to be dedicated to Paul.
“He was a top bloke, really hard working and fun to be around.
“Paul really wanted to do as much as he could for Miles for Men and we will have a minute’s silence at the start of the race in his honour.”
On Sunday, July 28, colourful comedian Roy Chubby Brown will be starting Miles for Men, which starts at Maritime Avenue and finishes at Seaton Carew Cricket Club.
People can register for Miles for Men by logging on to www.milesformen.co.uk