A grieving wife has paid tribute to the most ‘selfless, loving and giving’ person after he tragically lost his battle with bowel cancer.

Andrew Grainger Nelson, from Edgworth, died on March 4, 2024, at the age of just 55, following two years of gruelling treatment and two major operations.

His wife of almost 25 years, Joanne Dunleavy Nelson, says that Andrew fought until the end and was “incredibly courageous, and brave” throughout it all.

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She said: “It’s absolutely devastated us and broken us.

“Our lives will never be the same again.

“He was the one who looked after us and did everything for us.

The Bolton News:

“He never wanted to give up, and when the oncologist said he thinks Andrew should stop treatment, Andrew asked to try more.”

Following Andrew’s surgery, consultants were able to remove 50 per cent of his liver where the bowel cancer had spread to, and he had a successful stoma operation after this.

He underwent chemotherapy for a year, and Joanne says that his death came as a “devastating blow” to the “incredibly close” family.

The Bolton News:

Joanne has stressed how important it is for people to go and get checked if they have any symptoms, including feeling full and not being able to finish a meal, feeling bloated, blood in your stools, and an itchy bottom, or stomach pains.

Joanne added: “We were told there was nothing wrong with him and he was sent away from his GP again and again.

“You are never too young to get bowel cancer.

“We thought Andrew was going to beat it.

“Not all the symptoms are the same.”

Bowel cancer screening checks are offered to everyone aged between 60 and 74 every two years.

The programme is expanding to make it available to everyone aged 50 to 59 years.

This is happening gradually over four years and started in April 2021.

And Joanne is keen for the testing age to be brought down in the UK to 40.

The Bolton News:

Joanne says that Andrew would do anything for anybody and was the best father to their three children Saffy, 21, Finlay, 17, and Tristan 16.

She added: “He was funny, articulate, and the best dad to our three amazing children.

“We will remember his love for his family.

“He was the love of my life and my absolute soulmate.

“He was my best friend, and we did everything together and he made us laugh.

“He always knew how to deal with a problem, and he always had a plan.”

Joanne and Andrew were together for 26 years, and she says that they just knew when they met they were the ones for each other and described their meeting as “love at first sight”.

As part of his eulogy, his youngest son Tristan said: “My dad was an incredibly strong minded, hardworking, caring, incredibly independent person and he was almost always right, and the most talented chef.”

Andrew went to Turton High School and was the managing director at the Scafell Hotel, in Borrowdale, in the Lake District.

Andrew also gave away free stays at the hotel and auctioned off days for charities.

Joanne says he loved his job, and really enjoyed the outdoors, and was a huge animal lover.

Tristan raised over £2,000 for bowel cancer in the last two weeks and Joanne raised £1,700 in November following a number of donations.

After setting a GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/f/andrew-grainger-nelson) page up, Joanne says that they have now raised enough money for two memorial benches, with one to be installed at Edgworth Cricket Club, and hopefully Entwistle Reservoir.

The couple often walked around the reservoir, and it was one of his favourite walks.

Andrew’s funeral will be held at 2pm  today ( Thursday March 28) at St Anne’s Church in Chapeltown, Turton, followed by a cremation service at 3.30pm at East Lancs Crematorium, before going to Edgworth Cricket Club.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.