A FORMER sunbed addict with terminal cancer has said he is “honoured” to be carrying his friend Natalie Poole’s coffin at her funeral.
Damien Platt, from Little Hulton, struck up a friendship with the 34-year-old fundraiser as they supported each other through their cancer treatment.
For three years Mr Platt used sunbeds up to twice a week before he spotted a mole on his leg in 2010.
He was diagnosed with melanoma — the deadliest type of skin cancer — before being given just six months to live in March last year.
Despite both having terminal cancer, Mr Platt and Miss Poole, who lost her fight with cervical cancer on Saturday, campaigned to raise awareness while supporting each other through thick and thin — so much so that Miss Poole named him as a pallbearer.
Ex-tradesman Mr Platt said: “I’ve helped Natalie as much as possible along her journey and we became so close, and now I get to carry my darling friend on her last journey. What can be more amazing than that?
“We had a very special bond, one you couldn’t appreciate unless you are in that position. I’m so honoured and so happy Natalie wanted me to do this. It’s going to be such a sad day but I’m so proud of her. She was amazing.”
Mr Platt, aged 32, was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in 2010 after years of sunbed use — and despite his terminal diagnosis he is determined to continue campaigning in Miss Poole’s memory.
Mr Platt said: “Natalie raised a lot of money for cervical cancer and I think she probably saved a number of lives along the way as she touched so many people. We both just wanted to help others so no one else needs to deal with this.”
Miss Poole, who lived in Stoneclough, had 20 appointments at Kearsley Medical Centre before she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in July last year. Following chemo-therapy and radiotherapy and an operation, she was told the cancer was terminal.
The estate agent worked tirelessly for charity, raising £17,000 for The Christie and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust at a fundraiser earlier this year.