Sarcoma UK is deeply saddened to hear of the loss of our friend and hero, Gareth (Gaz) Emmerson.
Gaz was a valued fundraiser and member of the Sarcoma UK community, who also contributed to the organisation in many other ways. Besides raising over £125,000 for Sarcoma UK since his diagnosis with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2014, Gaz has also significantly contributed towards boosting public awareness of sarcoma thanks to his hard work, positivity, and determination.
Just a year ago, Gaz tackled a gruelling 1,000-mile cycling challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats with family and friends, despite his terminal cancer diagnosis. He married his childhood sweetheart, Zoe, just a few days later.
Gaz smashed his fundraising target and captured the hearts of the nation when he won ITV’s Pride of Britain London Fundraiser of the Year award last autumn.
A few weeks ago, Gaz announced that his cancer had spread to his bone marrow, and that he would be receiving end of life care. However, he was determined to do everything he could to raise even more funds for Sarcoma UK and urged people to donate the cost of a pint to ‘see me out of this world’.
“I’m proud of a lot of things, but no more so than the work we did for Sarcoma UK’, Gaz said in his final social media update.
‘Despite it not having the happiest ending, the past eight years since I’ve been ill have been the best of my life, and hopefully I’ve shown that you can live a great life with cancer.
‘One day, hopefully soon, no one will have to go through what me and so many others have been through.’
‘Gaz’s Instagram post – and his passing – are a reminder of why we need to keep doing the work we are doing…’ says Richard Davidson, CEO at Sarcoma UK. ‘So that we can fulfil Gaz’s vision of a world without sarcoma’.
Heartfelt tributes to Gaz have been paid on social media from the many people he and his story has impacted.
Comedian and Sarcoma UK ambassador, Angela Barnes, said ‘It was a real privilege to meet Gaz. What an absolute legend.’
This was echoed by sports presenter and fellow Sarcoma UK ambassador Gavin Ramjaun, who said ‘It’s a blessing to know such a man’.
Gaz will be remembered for his humour, kindness and bravery.
‘We’ll take so much from his infectious personality and his gorgeous outlook on life’ say Gaz’s family. ‘This will no doubt carry us through the tough times to come’.
It was an honour to have Gaz as part of the sarcoma community.
If you would like to raise a pint for Gaz, please visit https://justgiving.com/fundraising/teamgazemmerson.