Campaign to make memories for family of TV chef with incurable cancer

A fund-raising campaign has been launched to help chef Tim Bilton who has incurable cancer and his family. Catherine Scott reports.

Happier times: Tim Bilton with wife Adele and sons Henry and Charlie
Happier times: Tim Bilton with wife Adele and sons Henry and Charlie

For the last five years Tim Bilton has been fighting an aggressive form of cancer which started in his eye, moved to his saliva glands and has now spread to his bones.

The father of two, who has appeared on the likes of the Great British Menu, has been told without immunotherapy he has just a year to live. He is currently undergoing the treatment in Sheffield while still working at Canon Hall Farm and being a dad to his two sons Charlie and Henry aged seven and 13 and husband to wife of 12 years Adele.

In a bid to help the family friend Laura and Nigel Holliday launched a Go Fund Me campaign to help ease the financial burden of under-going treatment to ensure the time the family has left is not full of financial worry. Tim, 37, is godfather to the Holliday's son Ted.

Making memories: Tim and Adele with their boys

In just 14 days the fund has hit almost £5000 and is still rising.

Tim is well known the area and in cheffing circles in particular. having trained under Raymond Blanc. His illness saw him forced to give up his dream of a fine dining restaurant the Spiced Pear which he was preparing to open when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He also appeared on the Great British Menu and in 2016 was given a Yorkshire Evening Post Outstanding Contribution Oliver award.

Tim is under going gruelling immunotherapy

When he was well enough he took a job at Cannon Hall Farm which he loved.

Life was getting back to normal. Then Tim started to suffer from knee pain. After various tests and a painful wait for results it has been confirmed that Tim’s cancer was back and this time in his leg bone and kidney and he was told the cancer was now incurable

He has now started a vlog of his journey to raise awareness of cancer in men which he posts regularly on social media.

"Tim is dealing with all of this in his usual determined Yorkshire way and those of you who know Tim will appreciate what a truly unique and amazing man he is, always putting his wife Adele and their two boys at the heart of everything he does," says Laura.

The cancer treatment has left Tim exhausted

"We are hoping to raise money for the family to enable their two sons, who are 7 and 13 to continue with as normal life as possible at this difficult time and to ensure they can continue to make memories whilst Tim fights this awful disease. There are so many extra costs associated with cancer treatment and living with the disease and we would really like to try and minimise the impact this will have so that they can concentrate on family time and not have to worry financially.

"We are so lucky to have Adele, Tim and their boys in our lives . They are a wonderful family who really do get on with whatever life throws at them in the most inspirational, humorous way and they definitely as Tim says ‘keep things real’ .

"We plan to help as much as we can by firstly doing the great north swim! So on the 8th June at 11.30 am my husband Nigel and I will take to the waters of lake Windermere and swim a mile! This is no mean feat.. especially for Nigel! Please support and help if you can. We would love to be able to provide funds to help make things a little easier and so that as a family they can make memories."

The Biltons have been over whelmed by the response to the campaign

The fine dining Spiced Pear was Tim's dream but illness forced him to sell the business which enabled him to spend more time with his family

"We have been totally overwhelmed by the Go Fund Me campaign and feel very grateful that so many people are thinking of us at this difficult time," says Adele.

"All the comments are so lovely for us both to read. It’s been a difficult few years and we are so lucky to have wonderful friends like Laura and Nigel that are doing all they can to help us create memories for the boys. Laura is my best friend and she is like a sister to me and her support has just been amazing. We met at university in York 19 years ago and been best friends ever since."

Tim Bilton, right, with other celebrity chefs including Andrew Pern and Steph Moon