LOSING his mum, sister and dad to cancer over the course of 15 years has meant one Ramsbottom man has spent more time than he would ever have imagined at The Christie.

Despite the tragedy he has lived through in the walls of the Manchester hospital, Paul Walsh, aged 42, feels indebted to The Christie and its staff.

Mr Walsh, said: "My parents and baby sister were taken at a very early age by cancer and The Christie gave us a place to be.

"The communal garden used to be somewhere I could go and sit with my mum, sitting and taking the time there gives people comfort in what is the most horrific of times.

"The staff there at The Christie understand what people need."

Mr Walsh's mum Sandra, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma around 19 years ago, succumbing to the disease 19 months later.

In 2005, his sister Nicola, then just 26, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following a mastectomy she was diagnosed with another form of cancer which spread quickly to her brain. She died in 2007 having completed an incredible bucket list including marrying her boyfriend in South Africa and cage diving with great white sharks.

His dad and best friend, Patrick, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013, he died holding Mr Walsh's hand in 2014.

All three were treated at The Christie, as was Mr Walsh's aunt, Sheila Bottomley, who recently beat the disease.

Mr Walsh said: "When my dad went most recently, at his funeral we asked for donations to The Christie, but I still felt I wanted to give them more."

With two friends and his brother in law, Mr Walsh is embarking on the National Three Peaks Challenge.

The group have set a target of raising £1,000 for The Christie, but would really love to 'blow it out of the water' said Mr Walsh, especially after last week's fire.

Mr Walsh said: "We are training three times a week, going up and down Holcombe Hill, mountain biking and going to the gym.

"We really don’t want to fail.

"I’m frightened to death to be honest but we couldn’t raise money by sitting in and knitting."

The Just Giving page for the challenge has already received £500 in donations, to make a contribution yourself visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Alpha3peaks.

Mr Walsh added: "My sons, Sam (aged 11) and Finlay (aged 8), keep telling me how proud they are and my youngest wants to come along.

"My wife Keely, thinks we are doing it at the wrong time of year and worries I’m going to get hurt.

"She’s worried about everything but she understands why I’m doing it, I couldn't have gone through what I have without her and my children."