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Lasting legacy for Lancashire RAF Serviceman

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6:01am 20th March 2017

Making sure an inspirational RAF serviceman's legacy lives on at Pendleside Hospice.

Shahbaz Saleem's story moved people from across the world and raised awareness of the incredible care at the charity.

He was just 27-years-old when he returned from duty only to be told he had terminal bowel cancer.

The dad of two young girls ended up being cared for at Pendleside Hospice.

He and his family were amazed by the care and support he got there and despite his condition - Shabz starting fundraising for the charity.

Even after passing away in December - the amount of money his JustGiving page gets is continuing to go up.

At the moment, it's over £20,000.

Pendleside Hospice say that money is vital to making sure more people can get this care.

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[Shabz got a letter from the PM thanking his for his service and fundraising]

Spiritual Care Coordinator Chris Cheeseman tells us that Shabz also helped change perceptions about the hospice as well:

"I think one of the great things there is that it helps open more doors into the wider community.

"There is still that thought in people's minds that the hospice is about coming here to die not to be treated or to live as long as you can.

"I think one of the things we're trying to communicate is the broader picture that we are here to offer services not only at the hospice but in the community.

"We have hospice at home services - where we go out to patients' homes to keep them in their homes for as long as we can."

Vikki Bassek has been part of the fundraising team for about four years and has never seen anything like this:

"It's very rare! It was great to be involved with Shabz and his family.

"There wasn't many a day that went by when one of his brothers, his wife, his sister or his parents were calling us upstairs for a chat to see what we could do together.

"It was a really nice experience."

Chief Executive Helen McVey says that money means so much to them:

"We have people raising money for us on a regular basis.

"But what Shabz did for us wasn't just about the money but raising our profile as a local organisation with the local community.

"It can be a £100 or £10 - it doesn't matter. Any money people can raise for Pendleside is so important."

You can continue to donate to Shabz's JustGiving Page here

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