A MORETON dad who lost his wife to breast cancer has signed up to a Strictly Come Dancing style competition to help raise cash for those who supported his family.

Gary Williams tragically lost his wife Alisha in 2016 after a battle with breast cancer.

After the diagnosis Alisha and her family received support from Maggie's Merseyside who offered the likes of pamper sessions, helped arrange wig fittings, provided counselling and even helped organise a trip to Center Parcs.

Now Gary is determined to give something back to the charity by taking part in Strictly Maggie's at The Titanic Hotel on November 10.

He told the Globe: "I have decided to do Strictly in aid of Maggie’s Merseyside as they really helped me and my family when Alisha was first diagnosed with breast cancer.

"Our little girl Maya was two weeks old at the time and our life was instantly turned upside down.

"We would go to Alisha’s appointments and one day we stumbled across Maggie’s. From the moment we stepped in the place we felt so welcome, they helped us with things like benefits, they arranged a pamper session for Alisha, helped arrange for a wig fitting when she lost all her hair.

"Along with all that Alisha received counselling with the psychologist at Maggie’s.

"We just felt they did so much even organising a break away for us and our two daughters to Center Parcs.

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"In the early stages of Alisha’s illness Maggie’s became part of our lives, Alisha used to go there, have a warm cuppa and speak to other people who were facing similar circumstances as she was. I know Alisha really got a lot of comfort for that.

"She would discuss her worries and concerns with Kathy the centre head at Maggie’s, along with other cancer specialist nurses there.

"They would always listen, offer advice and support but if they didn’t know the answers they would always point us in the right direction.

"Sadly Alisha passed away 24th June 2016 leaving us devastated.

"I still continue to visit Maggie’s and they have continued to support me with counselling and benefits as our circumstances changed drastically.

Wirral Globe:

Gary and his girls now

"This added stress was handled by Maggie’s so that I could be there for my children.

"I’m a regular visitor at Maggie’s, often popping in for a cuppa and a chat.

"My girls India and Maya love it in Maggie’s for the free biscuits and cakes. In Alisha’s younger years she was a very talented ballroom dancer and danced in competitions all over the country.

"So it is an honour to be able to take part in the event in memory of Alisha and I hope I can do her and my girls proud. I hope to raise lots of funds for Maggie’s."

Gary is just one of 16 participants who are taking part in the event.

All have been paired with professional dancers from Merralls Dance Centre in Moreton while having to fundraise £1,000 each for Maggie's Merseyside.

They will compete to be crowned Strictly Maggie’s Champions 2019, under the watchful eye of Wallasey born Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas.

Shirley said: "My great grandfather died of cancer, my mother's eldest sister died of cancer, my mother's other sister has recently undergone an operation in Australia for her cancer and my mother also has cancer, so I know how it feels to be affected by the disease and understand the need for support.

"This is why I’ve chosen to support Maggie’s and their Strictly event which is so close to my hometown.

"Maggie’s is there for families like mine who are living with cancer.

"It’s important they raise awareness and vital funds to continue their excellent work, supporting the thousands of people who visit their centre each year."

Based in the grounds of Clatterbridge Hospital, Maggie's Merseyside offers a core-programme of support that has been shown to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of those affected by cancer.

To donate to Gary's fundraising page visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gary-williams58

Strictly Maggie's will take place from 7pm at the Titanic Hotel on Sunday, November 10.

Tickets are priced at £45 per person and includes an arrival drink plus a three-course meal, to book yours visit https://www.maggiescentres.org/how-you-can-help/take-part/all-events/strictly-maggies-2019/

Any businesses looking to sponsor the event can do by contacting sasha.mathias@maggiescentres.org