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Honouring Shelley's Memory: Matthew Cooke-Fox's Journey of Resilience and Giving Back with Weston Park Cancer Charity

At Weston Park Cancer Charity, we have the privilege of witnessing the resilience and strength of individuals like Matthew Cooke-Fox, who navigate the complexities of grief while honouring the memory of their loved ones.

Matthew's journey with us began in May 2021 when his wife, Shelley, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite undergoing extensive treatments, Shelley passed away from cancer in December 2022.

"Shelley received brilliant care at Weston Park Hospital," Matthew reflected, "She used the charity’s services such as massage and therapies during and after treatment."

Matthew now uses the bereavement services provided by Weston Park Cancer Charity for support.

"Personally, I visit the Charity regularly to talk through how life has changed for me now Shelley has passed," he shares. "They provide such vital support, helping those affected by cancer at the worst time of their lives."

Through our bereavement service, led by one of our Health Care Professionals Fran, Matthew has found a safe space to navigate his loss. Fran's empathy and understanding have provided Matthew with comfort and resilience as he faces the challenges ahead.

Fran Tod, Cancer Information and Support Advisor, who has been supporting Matthew, says:

“Grief is an incredibly personal and often isolating experience. At Weston Park Cancer Charity, we strive to offer a supportive environment where individuals like Matthew can share their journey, find solace, and begin to heal. Matthew has shown immense courage and determination, not only in dealing with his own loss but in choosing to honour Shelley's memory by giving back to the community. It's an honour to support him, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours, including the Great North Run.”

Matthew's determination to honour Shelley's memory has inspired him in his decision to give back to the charity that has supported them both. "I wanted to help give something back while keeping Shelley’s memory alive," he explains.

Sharing a passion for running, Matthew and Shelley embarked on a number of races enjoying running alongside one another and experiencing new places. "We'd done races around the world, including a half-marathon in Hawaii," Matthew recalls. "The last race we did together was the Great North Run in 2018. She beat me that day, and I decided that I was getting too old for this and swore I’d never race again."

Matthew's commitment to honouring Shelley's legacy shines through as he chooses to lace up his shoes once more, determined to keep her memory alive with every step he will be taking on the Great North Run in September.

As Weston Park Cancer Charity, we are honoured to help individuals like Matthew, offering support, compassion, and hope during difficult days. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, ensuring that no one faces this journey alone.

You can donate to Matthew running the Great Northern Run here Matthew Cooke-Fox is fundraising for Weston Park Hospital Development Fund (

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