Tribute to ‘popular character’ Derek

Derek Hoff, described by family as "popular, respected and much loved".
Derek Hoff, described by family as "popular, respected and much loved".

A SCARBOROUGH man who campaigned for fairer cancer treatment has died after a courageous eight- year battle with the disease.

Derek Hoff passed away in Saint Catherine’s Hospice on Saturday, aged 62.

He was the wife of Christine and proud father of Karen, Andrew and Sarah.

Derek was diagnosed in August 2003 with terminal renal cell cancer.

Despite the severity of his tumours he always battled on, and those who knew him say his smile rarely faded.

His motto was to “always look on the positive side of life”, and in 2009 he won his campaign to eradicate the ‘postcode lottery’ surrounding the prescription of kidney cancer drugs.

Derek received extensive treatment at St James’ Hospital, in Leeds, Castle Hill Hospital, in Hull, Scarborough Hospital, Trafalgar Medical Practice and St Catherine’s Hospice.

His family have paid thanks to everyone involved in his treatment, and believe there is no doubt Derek received the “best possible care”.

Derek and his wife also received support from their Macmillan Nurses, which Mrs Hoff says was “invaluable”.

Last month, his youngest daughter Sarah, raised £2,280 for Macmillan Cancer Support by walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks. She said: “I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me for their kind generosity. It was a tough challenge but knowing how generous people had been spurred me on and I knew although my Dad was not physically taking part, he was with me the whole way.

“I hope the money raised will help make the lives of other cancer patients and their families more bearable through the support of Macmillan Nurses.”

Derek moved to Scarborough aged two, where he grew up in the old town helping out in his mother’s guest house in Princess Street. He attended Friarage School, Westwood High School and the Technical College.

Derek was involved in local football teams, especially the Liberals and Scarborough Tech. Later he was involved with Scarborough Carnival, the local Family History Society and helped out with the Westborough Scout Movement, Scarborough Rugby Club Mini’s and refereed junior football.

Before being diagnosed, Derek was self employed as a management account providing support for small businesses.

His family have paid tribute to him, saying: “Derek was extremely fond of Scarborough. He would recall many stories of pastimes in the old town, football and his love of local gigs in the 1960’s.

“Derek’s family was at the heart of everything he did – from watching ballet shows to rugby and hockey matches and ensuring his children grew up receiving the very best support he could provide.

“Derek’s determination throughout his illness never faded as he fought and battled the cancer relentlessly with amazing positivity. His legacy will never be forgotten. He was an inspiration to all that knew him.”

Derek’s funeral will be held on Friday, August 26, at St Laurence’s Church in Scalby at 11am.