Tears as ‘ Dad of Year’ dies after cancer fight
Abrave father whowas named as Peterborough Telegraph’s Dad of the Year for his battle to care for his family despite suffering with a rare form of cancer has died. Father- of- four Geoff Chaplain, from Parnwell, who was crowned the Peterborough Telegraph’s Star Pa last June, passed away on Boxing Day aged 41.
Geoff, a former bus driver for Stagecoach, who had a tumour growing in his heart, had been fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma – a condition found in one in every 800,000 cancer sufferers, which is so rare that he was the only person aged over 35 in the UK with it.
He had been admitted to Peterborough City Hospital on December 22, after suffering heartproblemsandashortness of breath.
But early during Boxing Day morning, his family were informed that Geoff had passed away in his sleep.
His widow Kath ( 31) said to lose Geoff over Christmas was “horrible”, but took solace in that he went peacefully.
She said: “He didn’t go in any pain at all, which was nice to know.”
Geoffwasnominatedforthe Peterborough Telegraph’s Dad of the Year award for 2012 in light of his support to his family, despite the terminal disease he was battling.
Kath said: “He was brilliant, right downtothelastweeks. He was strong all the way through. It was only in the last weeks or so he said he couldn’t do it any more.”
Geoff ’ s heart problems started in 2008 but a two- week stay in hospital failed to diagnose the problem, as he was responding to medication.
Kath said: “He was over the moontowinDadoftheYear. He did not expect it.”
In December there was furtherjubilationasGeoffandKath renewedtheir wedding vowsin aceremonyatChristChurch, in Orton Goldhay. The couple had been married seven years.
Kath said: “It was something he wanted to do before he passed. I think he wanted to cherish what he had.”
She added: “It was lovely. It really was. If you had seen him then, you would not have expected what was around the corner.”
Kath said: “He was my life. Hewasafabuloushusbandand dad. He did everything for me.”
He is survived by Katie ( 11), Geroge( 9), James( 6) andSophie ( 4). One of the Dad of the Year judges, the PT’s features editor John Baker said: “Geoff’s story stoodoutfromalltheothers. He wasatrulyinspirational man. It is so sad to hear of his passing.”
The funeral takes place on January 4, at 1pm, at Christ Church, Orton Goldhay.
All who knew Geoff are welcome to attend.
‘ Star Pa’ Geoff Chaplain with his children Katie ( 10), James ( 6), Sophie ( 4) and George ( 8) with mumKath Chaplain at their home at Parnwell.
Geoff Chaplain with his wife Kath and children George, James, Katie and Sophie after being named Dad of the Year.
Dad of the Year Geoff Chaplain with daughter Sophie