DOZENS of colourful balloons soared over the beach in Saundersfoot on Thursday to celebrate the life of a teenager who had fought a long battle against bone cancer.
Daniel Bridle, aged 18, of Valley Road, Saundersfoot, was diagnosed with the disease in January 2013 after complaining of pain in his leg.
He sadly died at home on June 17 with his parents, Richard and Caroline, brother Lewis, aged 17 and sister Nicole, aged 13, at his side.
They decided that the balloon launch after Daniel’s funeral at Parc Gwyn Crematorium would be a lovely tribute, and arranged it with the help of Heidi Dilworth of Upsy Daizy, Narberth.
Family and friends wrote personal messages on each balloon and these were released on the beach in front of Saundersfoot’s Old Chemist Inn during the get-together which followed.
“As a family, we spent many happy moments on this beach, and it was nice to be there smiling once more,” said Daniel’s mum, Caroline. “It was a touching tribute, and brought a colourful end to a sad day.”
A cartoon face of Dan on one of the balloons looked down on the gathering, sharing one last laugh with everyone.
Daniel, a former pupil of Tenby’s Greenhill School, who enjoyed circuit training, ski-ing and running,had just started a plumbing apprenticeship at Pembrokeshire College when he was found to have bone cancer.
Since then, he had undergone chemotherapy and spent a lot of time in the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Cardiff.
“It’s been a hell of a journey,” said dad Richard.
“But we were determined to share as much quality time as we could with Daniel, and we had a wonderful family holiday in Iceland, as well as trips to Alton Towers and other theme parks.
“There a superb amount of help and support from so many charities, as well as people locally.
“The lovely turn-out at Dan’s funeral reflected how good the community has been. We couldn't have given him a better day."
Donations in Daniel’s memory are being made to Bone Cancer Research.