Holly, who lost her grandad Roy this year, set up a fund in his memory on behalf of this charity, and raised over £600 by completing the Three Peaks Challenge. Here she recalls how he helped her nan and mum when they had breast cancer, and remembers Christmases together.

Holly's grandad Roy wearing a smart shirt and trousers, sitting at a restaurant table with Holly and the family

Grandad was always there to lend a helping hand

My grandad Roy was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was always there, no matter what. He’d lend a helping hand and was always keen to listen.

We were very close as a family and frequently went on holidays together. He loved golf and DIY, and spent his free time customising his golf trolley in the garage.

He had a great sense of humour and was a thrill seeker. He was always giggling and making childish jokes, or trying new adventures like wing walking and gliding (he was still gliding at 82).

He’d giggle at his own jokes so hard he could barely speak

He was a great teacher and storyteller, and was worldly wise. He taught us how to replace batteries and take links out of watches, how cars work and many other things. We loved listening to his stories about the war and how he met my nan when they were teenagers.

I have so many fond memories of him. A few that stick out include challenging my brother to arm wrestles and push-up competitions in his 80s - my mum was always worried he’d hurt himself; floating around the pool on a giant unicorn on family holidays, and giggling so hard at his own jokes that he could barely speak. One of those occasions was when Nan spilled a sachet of milk on the plane on a family trip, to which he replied: ‘There’s no use crying over spilt milk.’

Grandad helped Mum and Nan when they were diagnosed with breast cancer

Both his wife and daughter battled with breast cancer at different points in their lives, and Breast Cancer Now provided amazing support.

When my mum was diagnosed in 2014, he had a can-do attitude, was very practical and resilient, and helped my mum with looking after us three kids. When my nan was diagnosed, he was completely selfless – he became her carer overnight and made sure she had everything she needed.

I’m proud to be fundraising in memory of my grandad. I hope that by supporting Breast Cancer Now, the same support can be provided to other families.

Grandad was with me in spirit throughout the Three Peaks Challenge

I did the Three Peaks Challenge in September to raise money for Breast Cancer Now, which provided my mum and nan with incredible support whilst battling breast cancer.

I found the challenge physically and mentally difficult. Luckily, I was with a great team whose encouragement and camaraderie got the team to the top of each peak. I made memories and friends that will last a lifetime.

I like to think Grandad would be proud of me for fundraising for such a good cause. He was there with me in spirit throughout the challenge, as I know it’s something he’d have loved to do himself. 

Holly in her graduation robes and hat, with Grandad Roy and all the family smartly dressed and smiling widely

At Christmas he insisted on wearing his Santa hat all day long

One of the many Christmas memories of Grandad I have is when all the adults started to doze off on the sofa after our Christmas meal. My nan had a full glass in her hand which she let go of as she nodded off. Grandad, though dozing off himself, managed to catch it with total ease and seemed completely unphased. Apparently it was a regular occurrence at home.

One of our traditions was playing Nintendo Wii golf and Wii bowling as a family on Christmas Day. As he was such a keen golfer, it was hard for him to come to terms with not being very good at virtual golf.

He made bubble and squeak every Boxing Day morning and insisted on wearing his Santa hat all day.

We miss and think about you every day, you shaped all of our lives and taught us so much over the years. We miss your spirit, your silliness and your love, and hope that we can be as resilient and enthusiastic as you, as we get older. 

 

Start a Fund in Memory for a loved one, or post a dedication to someone you’ve lost on our online Christmas dedication wall.