A father-of-two from Reedley diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer has raised over £10,000 for Pendleside Hospice in just over a week as he seeks to raise awareness and funds whilst receiving palliative care at the hospice.
Shahbaz Saleem (27) has dedicated himself to raising as much money as he can for Pendleside Hospice, where he is currently receiving palliative care, and - with the figure still climbing - Shahbaz's story is inspiring hundreds to donate, with his JustGiving page reaching £10,219 after just nine days.
"As a family, we are immensely proud of what he's doing," said Shahbaz's brother, Shaz (29). "There's no stopping him. He's got quite a progressive illness however he's not letting that stop him raise money.
"He wants raise awareness of bowel cancer and how great Pendleside Hospice is for the community - it's there for pain management, it's there for families, and it's there as a support agency.
"He's fighting: every time he sees the donation page it makes him stronger and stronger," continued Shaz. "He's feeling strong mentally, physically he may not be, but mentally he's strong."
A serving Logistics Officer at Royal Air Force Leeming in Yorkshire, Shahbaz was told he had days to live after returning from a four-month tour of Dubai and completing a charity climb of Mt Snowdon in Wales. A passionate servant of his country, Shaz said: "He's a very proud serving member of Her Majesty's (RAF); it's the world to him."
Despite believing his symptoms were those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Shahbaz presented himself to A&E with abdominal pains last November and was diagnosed with colonic tumours. He is now urging people to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer and to speak to their doctors if they have any concerns.
"What he wants to do now is raise awareness of the early symptoms of bowel cancer and to promote Pendleside Hospice," added Shaz. "The support they have not only given to Shahbaz, but to the whole family - his wife, his children - has been out of this world. We are very proud of what everybody is doing."
Of the total raised, Shaz said: "It's £10,000 and climbing. £10,00 in just a week - it's immense; a special thank-you to each and every person that's donated, and not just donated, even their prayers go a long way as well."