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Auction for Amersham man's memory raises nearly £15,000
A FUNDRAISING auction in memory of an Amersham man surpassed expectations as nearly £15,000 was raised.
The crowd dug deep to raise money for leukaemia research in honour of friend Karl Sandwith, who died from the condition last August aged 36.
Organisers had hoped to raise £7,000 from the auction but spurred on by Karl's friend Marc Broom, who was the auctioneer, they raised more than double that amount.
The money will be split between the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity and Hillingdon Hospital's Bevan Ward, where Karl was treated after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia a week after his daughter Olivia's first birthday.
The ward was also where he married his partner of eight and a half years, Michelle O'Shea, before he died three weeks later on August 1 2012.
Michelle said: "Karl was brilliant at his trade of lead roofing but that was just one of his talents. He was a good golfer, snooker player and tennis player but his passion was motor sports, in particular sports bikes, and he regularly did track days around the country.
"Karl was the strongest, fittest, healthiest person I knew, which is why it was even more of a shock when he was admitted to hospital on January 31. He endured three incredibly strong rounds of chemotherapy and daily transfusions of blood and platelets but sadly never got into remission.
"Karl was an exceptionally unique man and is sorely missed by all, especially myself, his family and Olivia, our daughter."
Referring to the result of the auction, she added: "This completely overwhelmed us all and we were blown away by people's generosity."
Last year an appeal for donations led to new specialist equipment being bought for the Bevan Ward, while Karl's sister Natasha raised £3,500 by holding a Zumbathon at Brunel University last month.
The fundraising will continue in the summer when Michelle and 13 of Karl's friends cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End in ten days - starting on the anniversary of his death.
The team have called themselves Team SOS after Karl and Michelle's surnames - a nickname they were given by hospital staff.
To find out more about the bike ride, go to www.ridingforkarl.com.
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