Ex-lifeboatman dies at age of 39

A former Northumberland lifeboat crew member has died at the age of 39 less than three months after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

A former Northumberland lifeboat crew member has died at the age of 39 less than three months after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Simon Doherty, who was born in Morpeth, was diagnosed with the disease, which is a type of cancer of the blood, on March 22 after complaining of a sore throat. He died at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary on June 7.

A keen sailor, Simon had spent five years as an instructor for Sunsail based on the Greek island of Paxos, he was also a member of Craster Lifeboat crew and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Blyth yacht clubs.

But for the last seven years he had been living in Swindon working on the production line at Honda.

At the time he was diagnosed Simon was living on a narrow boat at Lechlade Marina, near Swindon, where his father Michael Doherty, of Whinhill, Craster, said he was at his happiest.

Mr Doherty, 69, chairman of Craster Lifeboat, told The Journal last night of his son's passion for life and positivity throughout the disease.

He said: "When Simon was first diagnosed he did find it hard to deal with but once he came to terms with it he was extremely positive.

"Throughout the illness he was always making plans for the future and was planning to sail the Atlantic in August, but the cancer took over so quickly.

"Simon was charming and always such great company as he was an enthusiastic participant in everything he did. Only a few days before he died we were out walking together in Leazes Park near the hospital."

Simon's funeral last Friday was conducted by his uncle, Father James Doherty, at St Robert's Church, Morpeth, which was filled with friends and family.

He was the youngest son of Mr Doherty and his wife Jennifer, 68. In May one of Simon's close friends Anne-Marie Lamb and her daughter Kiri-Mae ran the Cancer Research Race For Life for Simon, raising more than £400. They ran the 5km race with Linda Gill and her daughter Olivia.

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