Dad says ‘life will never be the same’ after daughter and wife die just two years apart


Fred Woolerton, 66, tragically lost his daughter, Alexis May Woolerton, aged just 32, on Christmas Eve 2018, and his wife, Anne-Marie, died two years later after being diagnosed with lung cancer

Fred is representing local cancer charity Maggie's in his bright orange kit, and has his wife and daughter's names printed on his bike
Fred is representing local cancer charity Maggie’s in his bright orange kit and has his wife and daughter’s names printed on his bike

A dad who tragically lost his wife and daughter to cancer in the space of two years has said life will never be the same for him.

Fred Woolerton, 66, had his life turned upside down when his daughter, Alexis May Woolerton, died on Christmas Eve 2018, in Overgate Hospice after battling cancer aged just 32.

After the devastating loss shook him, he and wife Anne-Marie were “never the same.”

As a result, he lost his taste and smell, and said “no parent should have to see their child die”, he told Leeds Live.

Tragically, just two years later wife Anne-Marie was diagnosed with lung cancer which sadly spread to her pancreas before reaching her brain.

The couple loved going on holiday to Benidorm together, and Anne-Marie loved playing Candy Crush and doing “everything” for her husband.

However after undergoing tireless amounts of treatment, Anne-Marie died on April 29, 2020.

“After she was gone I was never the same”, Fred admitted.

To support Fred’s challenge click here to donate.

Fred’s wife Anne-Marie died of cancer in 2020 after it spread to three places



The 66-year-old granddad felt naturally lost and unmotivated about life. However, he has admitted he has a good support system around him which has enabled him to get through the difficult times.

Fred said: “Death creates such an entity behind you. You’re in a dark place one minute and then you the other way. You take five steps forward, and then 20 back.

“People say that time is a healer but I think while it helps, the key is to have a good structure around you. When people say they understand it’s nice to say but they don’t understand.

“I don’t go out half as much now I think sometimes I feel like a burden because people think they can’t have a good time because I’m there. Life has got to go on though. It’s not fair for me to put that on people.”

Fred luckily has a number of friends in the community. One “vital” friend is Adele Kendrew who helps run the Edmund House social club in Pontefract Lane.

Alexis May Woolerton sadly died on Christmas Eve 2018 after loosing her battle with cancer age 32



She told Fred she would help him get back on his feet by keeping him busy day to day. He began cleaning, painting, and helping sorting out the club which gave him a “sense of purpose.”

Fred added: “It helped me come out of my shell and gave me a sense of purpose. It took my mind off it. It’s like you’re acting on a stage and then you come off stage and you have to face reality when you go home.It would all come back to me then.

“But the club did their absolute best and it did help. People might not think it but I’m such a reserved person and it’s hard to talk about a subject that has taken two members of your family.”

He wanted to help out his community and give back to families struck down by cancer and he began helping out with Leeds independent charity Maggie’s.

Fred added: “Maggie’s has been open short of three years and I went in and I broke down. They’re really good understanding people.

“I ask them if I could help out, and while they told me it’s not for everybody I am now able to help people feel comforted, and I speak to them about the hard times.”

The charity decided to conduct a charity bike ride from Leeds to Barcelona – covering 1,200 miles. Fred immediately signed up and will be taking part in the challenge on April 29-coincidentally the anniversary of his wife’s death.

He said: “The date of the bike ride is the day of my wife’s death. I’ve had my bike sprayed and the colors are the same as the Maggie’s logo.

“My bike has both my wife and daughter’s name on. I look at life like a crusade now, not just for me, but I am doing this for everybody and for people who can’t do it.”

Although since having a knee replacement recently, the brave granddad will travel from Leeds, through to Hull, ferry to Rotterdam, Belgium into France and then ride down into Barcelona through Spain.

Fred added: “I have seen the difference Maggie’s makes in people’s lives, and I know it is essential that these centers and charities help support those with cancer and their families.

“This fundraiser is to help sponsor myself regarding this bike ride, supporting Maggie’s charity and all of the hard work they do for those who have cancer and the consequences it leaves behind.”

To support Fred’s challenge click here to donate.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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