Our 12 Days of Christmas campaign, highlighting the work of East Lancashire Hospice continues with a look at the story of the young man who will perform the official switch-on at this year’s virtual Light Up A Life service on Monday

YOUNG Frank Cooper had a special bond with his great grandfather

“I loved spending time with him, said 11-year-old Frank from Blackburn. “He always used to make me laugh, especially with his teeth, taking them out and making funny faces, which was our little joke.”

In June 2020 his great grandad Frank Waddington was diagnosed with cancer and referred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he had an operation to remove two thirds of his right lung.

After initially responding well, Frank Waddington began to feel worse and at the start of the year was told that his cancer had returned and there was nothing the doctors could do.

In April 2021, he was transferred to East Lancashire Hospice under palliative care, where he received visits from the Community Nurse Specialists (CNS) at home before spending his final days at the hospice with his family at his bedside.

Young Frank wanted to raise money for the hospice after the care his great grandad received there and persuaded Mark Nicholls, landlord of the Railway at Pleasington so that Frank could serve England-themed food during the Euro 2020 finals asking for donations in return. He raised £625 from this.

“We had some great times together and this is why I wanted to raise this money. I know he’ll be proud of me,” said Frank.

The whole family has thrown their support behind hospice fundraising.

Frank Waddington’s daughter Lynn Cooper-Kay and husband, Alan made a sunflower donation for the hospice garden and took part in the Virtual Starlight Memories Walk in Frank’s name.

Leanne Green, Fundraising and Lottery Lead at East Lancashire Hospice said, “Meeting Frank Cooper was an absolute honour and I can see why his family are so proud of him.

“It’s thanks to young people like Frank that we can carry on providing the invaluable care for many years to come.”

You can watch the virtual Light Up A life event on Monday at 7.30pm either via www. facebook.com/EastLancashireHospice or our website - www.eastlancs hospice.org.uk. Light Up a Life at Home packs costing £10, are also available from the hospice website.