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Married father-of-four, 35, dies from rare form of cancer just 18 months after his triplets were born as family raise more than £8,000 to help his wife bring up their children
- Steve Sparshott got cancer diagnosis shortly after triplet daughters were born
- Eighteen months later, he died of sarcoma, a rare tumour that ravaged his body
- Wife Marta has been left to raise their four young daughters alone after his death
- Family and other well-wishers have so far raised £8,000 to support the widow
A married father-of-four has died of a rare form of cancer just 18 months after his triplets were born.
Steve Sparshott, 35, from Milton Keynes, was told he had a sarcoma tumour shortly after his premature baby daughters were born in June 2019 and while they were still in hospital.
Despite constant treatment, which even included the latest Proton beam therapy radiotherapy, Steve learned late last year that the cancer had spread throughout his bone marrow and was in his liver and lungs.
With weeks to live, one of his last wishes was to marry partner Marta – something the couple had planned to do before the Covid pandemic struck.
On December 8, the couple said their vows at a tiny ceremony at the civic offices register office in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.
The following day Steve was admitted to hospital and then, shortly afterwards, to Willen Hospice. He was discharged on January 7 to spend his last few days with his family and passed away on January 12.
A fundraising page has been set up to help the young widow bring up her toddler triplets and four-year-old daughter, as their father had no life insurance. Well-wishers and family members have raised more than £8,000 so far.
Doting father Steve Sparshott tragically died leaving his much-adored triplets to be raised by their mother Marta. The triplets, all girls, are pictured here with Steve and four-year-old daughter Annie
A fundraising page has been set up to help Marta bring up her toddler triplets and four-year-old daughter, as their father had no life insurance
The triplets, Sophie, Ellie and Penny, are too young to know what has happened to their father but their older sister Annie, four, is more aware.
She refuses to accept her mother’s assurance that Steve has gone to Heaven and constantly asks when he is coming home.
What are sarcomas?
Sarcomas are a group of rare cancers affecting the tissues that connect, support and surround other body structures and organs
They often have no obvious symptoms in the early stages.
They can cause symptoms as they get bigger or spread. The symptoms depend on where the cancer develops.
The outlook for a soft tissue sarcoma mostly depends on the type of sarcoma it is, how likely it is to spread (the grade) and how far it has already spread (the stage) by the time it’s diagnosed.
If it’s detected at an early stage or is a low-grade tumour and it can be removed during surgery, a cure is usually possible. However, larger, high-grade tumours have a greater risk of coming back or spreading.
A cure is not usually possible if a soft tissue sarcoma is only detected when it has already spread to other parts of the body.
‘Due to Covid restrictions, only Marta was allowed to see him. We had to video call with the little girls so he could see their faces,’ said Steve’s sister-in-law Shoshana Toli today.
‘This was too difficult for Steve to handle, as all he wanted was to be with his family and to spend his last few days with his beautiful girls. With his last wishes in mind, he was discharged on January 7. ‘
Steve, a previously fit and healthy man whose passion was climbing mountains in Wales, passed away five weeks after his wedding day.
‘It is just heartbreaking. Marta is amazing, she is like a superwoman. But she is now left with four little girls to bring up without their daddy,’ said Shoshana.
‘The triplets are too young to understand why their daddy isn’t there any more, but Annie keeps asking questions and insists he’s coming back.
‘Annie won’t accept it when her mummy tells her he’s in Heaven. She says ‘you’re lying, daddy is coming back’. It’s just too sad for words.’
Ever since the triplets were born, Steve spent long periods of time in hospital.
Shoshana’s fiance, Steve’s brother Michael Sparshott, said: ‘In reality there are no words to describe the pain and devastation this story holds. The pandemic has masked many stories just like this one and with everyone focussed on the virus within our communities, cancer has been hidden in the shadows.’
Marta’s family are in Poland and her mother lives in Germany and visited yet due to Covid travel restrictions. Shoshana and Michael live in Milton Keynes, as does Steve’s mother Sue.
‘We will all do all whatever we can to help. We are determined to be a very special aunt and uncle to Steve’s girls. He was so proud of them all and so delighted to have triplets – though it was a real surprise when they found out there were three babies on the way. Two of them are identical twins and they are the spitting image of him,’ said Shoshana.
Steve (pictured with the babies) succumbed to cancer 18 months after the three babies were born
The triplets, Sophie, Ellie and Penny, are too young to know what has happened to their father but their older sister Annie, four, is more aware
Steve’s funeral is to be held on February 5. His dying wish was that he be cremated and his ashes turned into jewellery for his girls.
A building site manager, Steve had no life insurance
‘Steve never wanted to have any fuss made over him and was adamant that he did not want any money spent on flowers and cards, etc.
‘We have been contacted by lots of Steve’s loved ones about how they can help us so we have decided to set up this GoFundMe for those that wish to donate towards Steve’s funeral costs and to help towards supporting his family,’ said Michael.
A building site manager, Steve had no life insurance.
Marta, who worked as a warehouse operative before having the babies, is struggling to work out how she will ever cover childcare costs and go back to work.
‘Already a local nursery has stepped in and let Annie go there for free a couple of afternoons a week. They take the triplets for a time once a week so that Marta can have a break. They’ve been wonderful,’ said Shoshana.
‘But Marta has a house to run, bills to pay and four little girls to bring up. We’re hoping the GoFundMe page will raise a little extra so life will be a bit easier for them.’
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