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Terminally ill man's joke aids charities

By Lynsey Bradford, Town Reporter Friday 6th December 2013
Garry Gillis and sister Jackie Goodall.

An elderly man who has been given just weeks to live is raising money for cancer charities by asking his visitors to don Christmas hats and make a donation.


Garry Gillis, 75, of Hartington Drive, Honeywell, was diagnosed with terminal cancer seven weeks ago. He has asked more than 50 visitors to don a Father Christmas hat with beard and is hoping to raise £500 for Macmillan Nurses and Marie Curie.


The area around his bed has been trimmed up with Christmas decorations and visitors have their photo taken which is then pinned on the wall.


He said: "It started off as a joke, to see how many people would wear the hat.


"On the wall, there are now three elves, Santas, a Santa dog and Santa babies.


"The care everyone has shown me has been wonderful.


"Barnsley is beautiful, and so are the people."


Originally from East Street, Goldthorpe, Garry moved to Somerset after working at Barnburgh Colliery as a surface worker. He has spent most of his life in Minehead but has moved to his sister Jackie Goodall's house in Honeywell to be nearer his family.


His illness has also helped reconcile Jackie, 70, and Anna Carbutt, their other sister, who have not spoken for about 20 years. Garry said he is delighted the sisters are now speaking.

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