Paul Heapy was diagnosed with acute renal failure at the age of 23 and had several operations and dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant in June 2009. He sadly endured a series of setbacks and following a three-month stay in the MRI, died in February 2010 aged 31. He is survived by his parents Karen and Dave and younger brother Steven.
Paul’s friend, Post Man Jimmy Cullen said: “We want to do something positive in Paul’s memory, he was looked after so well throughout his illness by the Renal Transplant Unit at the MRI and to show our appreciation for their kindness and skills, we want to donate a piece of equipment for them.”
Paul, who lived in Blackley, used to work as an order picker for Office Depot. They both played football together for many years, along with other mates who are involved in the fundraising activities, for the Blue Bell amateur football club that played in the Ashton League on Sundays. The 11-a-side team is now called the Moston Labour club and plays in the Tameside League.
Jimmy said: “Paul was a lovely lad, very quiet and private, but just one of those people who you click with instantly and get on with. He fought against all his setbacks with good nature and determination and was looking to the future when he was dealt a final cruel twist of fate by having a stroke which he never recovered from.”
A group of 22 of Paul’s family and friends part in a Manchester to Blackpool bike ride in July 2010, through which they raised nearly £2,500. Royal Mail gave Jimmy the use of two vans to collect the riders and their bikes and bring them back. Two of the group also did a sponsored parachute jump this included Paul’s best made John Sutcliffe which added a further £2,000.
Landlord Rhys Knowles, hosted a Funday at the Owd Betts pub in Norden in August 2010 and raised over £500 pounds. A charity night in September at the Embassy Club where over 200 people came along pushed the total to £9,000.
Karen & Dave Heapy would like to thank every single person who helped, took part, sponsored or supported these events we could not have done this without them in particular John Sutcliffe and Jimmy Cullen. In addition a big thank you to The Royal Mail for providing the transport for the bike ride organised by Lisa Bell, the North Area Sorting Office who gave donations and gave up their time to drive the cars and Office Depot for the use of their vans to transport the bikes back from Blackpool and to the live band Mimik for performing at the charity night. Thanks also goes to New Leaf Press, Royal Bank of Scotland, MEN Media, Moston Labour Club Football Team, Rhys Knowles, Bernard Manning and everyone who donated prizes and gave their support to all the events to help raise a fantastic £9,000.
Karen said “Paul would not believe so many people have done so much for his memory. He was such a quiet lad who must have made a big impression on a lot of people. We are so proud of him.”
The Renal Transplant Unit has now received a donation of a “Spacelab Monitoring Station” from the family for which they are extremely grateful and will be invaluable in supporting patients such as Paul in the future.