TRIBUTES have been paid to a “wonderful family man” who helped raise thousands for charity who has lost his battle with a brain tumour.
Kippax dad-of-three Ian Meek, 42, died on August 1, the same day his biggest fundraising challenge – a Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride – reached its peak as the cyclists were welcomed into Leeds for Yorkshire Day.
He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1994, which became malignant in 2009, and while battling his illness he organised and took part in a series of fundraising events, called Meek’s Feats, for charity Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire (BTRS), raising £110,00, walking the Three Peaks and completing a 24-hour bike ride from Bristol to Bradford. He was also an Olympic torch bearer when it visited Yorkshire in June.
Ian had insisted the ride go ahead, despite becoming too ill to be involved himself and that his son Sam, 15, joined riders Haydn Pitchforth, Rob Berry, Gav Smith, Paul Ashton and David Gale for the Yorkshire leg.
He was admitted to St Gemma’s Hospice on July 19, days before the ride started, and died there on August 1. He is survived by his wife Sally, daughters Keisha, 21, Hannah, 18 as well as Sam.
Carol Robertson, of BTRS, met Ian when he started attending its support group after his tumour became malignant. She said: “He wanted to do something to make a difference, and when he became too ill it was massively important to him that people carried on.
“He was a wonderful family man, he cared passionately about his family and friends.
“The last meeting he came to in July, he was very poorly, but he still wanted to talk to everybody.”
Ian’s funeral took place at Lawnswood Crematorium last Friday. Carol said: “There must have been 200-300 people there. Sally asked the cyclists to lead the hearse on their bikes and Ian’s Olympic torch was placed on the coffin. He was a truly loved man and he truly loved so many people.”
BTRS is planning to carry on fundraising in Ian’s name, setting up a new charity called Ian Meek – Let’s Cure Brain Tumours. Visit www.btrs.org.uk to find out how to support Ian’s fundraising.