A MAN whose battle against cancer inspired a community fundraising campaign, including a cheeky charity calendar, has died.

Michael Hardisty - known as Bud - died at home in Burley-in-Wharfedale on Christmas Eve. He was 53.

Announcing the news on Facebook, his wife Justine said: “I am heartbroken to have to tell you but we lost our beautiful buddy boy on Xmas eve, he battled so hard over the last 14 months.

“He is out of pain now flying high. We will miss him so much, he was our world.”

Bud’s funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Parish Church tomorrow, Friday, January 11 at 1.45 pm followed by a private family cremation, then back to Burley Social Club.

Bud was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, which had spread to his liver, on November 7, 2017.

The gardening contractor, who worked across the Wharfe Valley, received palliative chemotherapy at Airedale Hospital but even with this treatment doctors gave him just nine to 12 months to live.

Refusing to give up, his family and friends, including wife Justine and sons William and Joshua, launched a fundraising appeal to send Bud for treatment in Istanbul, Turkey, after researching alternative cancer treatments online.

With the help of family, friends and the local community, the family managed to raise thousands of pounds to fund treatment at the Chemothermia Oncology Centre, which has been reporting fantastic results using using a combination of chemotherapy, oxygen therapy and thermia treatment.

Fundraising events included a Three Peaks walk, a cycle along the Liverpool to Leeds canal and events at Burley Social Club.

Then in October last year, with Bud’s family facing medical bills of £100,000, 11 mums turned models, including Bud’s sister Jane, to strip off to pose for a variety of cheeky photos around Burley-in-Wharfedale and surrounding area.

The result was the Darling Buds of Burley 2019 calendar which raised £4,000 for Bud before it even went on sale in November, thanks to sponsorship from local businesses.

It also received not only local but national publicity, providing a massive boost to Bud’s family at a very difficult time.

Posting on Facebook just after Bud’s death, the women behind The Darling Buds of Burley Calendar said: “The darling Buds of Burley are so so sad to have to announce that we lost Bud on Xmas Eve.

“We would like to thank every one of you who purchased a calendar, donated and supported us all through this journey to help Bud and his family pay for his cancer treatment.

“The money raised has all gone towards paying for the treatment which he has had over the last year.

“Even though the cancer took Bud and sadly he couldn’t battle any longer, we want everyone to know that the fundraising was truly amazing and all went to this much needed cause.

“We hope that you hang your calendar with pride as we all have.

“Thank you again for all your support.

“All our love from Bud’s family, friends and The Darling Buds of Burley.”

An online funeral notice says: ‘BUD’ Peacefully at home in Burley-in-Wharfedale on 24th December aged 53 years. Dearly beloved husband of Justine, loving dad to Joshua and William and loving brother of John and Jane. A dear uncle and friend to so many. Funeral service will be held in St Mary’s Parish Church on Friday 11th January at 1.45pm followed by private cremation. Donations in memory of Bud may be given in church to Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.’