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A cancer battle can’t dim the community spirit at Manchester’s Frigate Pub

In the face of a grueling battle with cancer, one man has found solace and support in an unexpected place—the local pub.

Tony Price, a Manchester resident diagnosed with terminal cancer, credits the Frigate Pub in Whitefield as an essential part of his routine and a vital source of comfort during his arduous journey.

Following intense chemotherapy sessions, many would find it unimaginable to visit a bustling pub, but for Tony, it has become an indispensable aspect of his life.

While his treatment prevents him from enjoying a  beer, the camaraderie and companionship he finds at the Frigate, alongside his partner Jess Duffy, have created an oasis of normalcy amidst the chaos of his diagnosis.

“It means the world to us,” says Jess Duffy. “The pub provides a brilliant space for both of us to relax, feel a sense of normality, and engage in conversations with people who genuinely care.

“The Frigate has become an integral part of our world, thanks to the exceptional landlady, Lisa McCormack, her colleague Tony Moran, and the supportive staff.

“Even during weeks when Tony is undergoing chemotherapy, we make it a point to visit. That’s how important this pub has become to both of us.”

Tony’s battle with cancer began when he experienced excruciating abdominal pain in July 2021.

Hospital visits initially suggested appendicitis, but during what should have been a routine operation, surgeons discovered a large tumor in his stomach.

The shocking news turned Tony’s world upside down, as the pain and the unexpected diagnosis took a heavy toll.

Following surgery, Tony endured rounds of chemotherapy, and in November 2021, the couple received a glimmer of hope with an all-clear diagnosis.

However, their relief was short-lived, as October 2022 brought the devastating news of the cancer’s return.

Now at stage 4, the disease had spread to Tony’s bowel and liver, leaving him with a terminal prognosis.

“To say Jess and I were devastated is an understatement—we couldn’t believe it,” Tony recalls.

“But the outpouring of support that surrounded us was incredible.

“Our friends and family rallied behind us, and the Frigate became a lifeline. Stepping into that vibrant, joyful space allowed us to feel a sense of normalcy in our lives.”

In a heartwarming gesture, the Frigate served as the venue for one of Tony’s most memorable nights—an unexpected surprise birthday party organized by Lisa, their friends, and family.

Tony anticipated a quiet evening with his children, three-year-old granddaughter Mali, and Jess’ two kids, but instead found himself walking into a pub packed to the rafters with loved ones, old army mates, and former neighbors.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Tony shed tears of joy that evening, realizing the immense impact he had made on so many lives.

The support extended beyond heartwarming gatherings.

A close friend offered Tony and Jess an apartment in the Canary Islands for a much-needed holiday.

The local community at the Frigate pitched in to raise £400 to cover the exorbitant travel insurance costs, which would have otherwise been unaffordable due to Tony’s terminal condition.

Their holiday served as a breath of fresh air, rejuvenating their spirits as they prepared for Tony’s ongoing chemotherapy treatments, now scheduled every other week in an effort to extend his life.

Amidst the uncertainty of their future, Tony and Jess continue to embrace life as much as possible.

Tony’s presence at the Frigate, visiting around three times a week to greet friends and enjoy his favorite non-alcoholic beverages like orange juices or J2O, has become a regular occurrence.

The pub, along with their incredible circle of friends and family, provides unwavering support during this challenging time.

Landlady Lisa, who has known Tony for years, emphasizes that the Frigate is more than just a pub—it is an integral part of the Joseph Holt brewery’s philosophy to be deeply embedded in the community.

It serves as a beacon of comfort, friendship, and light for those who need it most. Lisa and her dedicated team at the Frigate go above and beyond to ensure Tony and Jess feel supported and cherished.

The story of Tony’s resilience and the Frigate’s unwavering support has captivated the local community, inspiring others to rally behind their own loved ones facing similar battles.

Through their experiences, Tony and Jess have become symbols of hope, reminding everyone that even in the face of adversity, a supportive community can make all the difference.

As Tony bravely confronts an uncertain future, he holds onto the gratitude he feels for the Frigate, his family, and his friends.

While the road ahead may be challenging, he cherishes every moment of normalcy and connection the pub provides.

The Frigate stands as a testament to the power of community, proving that a local pub can become a sanctuary of support and solace for those facing life’s greatest challenges.

Tony’s story serves as a reminder that amidst the storm of hardship, love, friendship, and the embrace of a caring community can bring a sense of light and hope.

In the words of Tony Price himself, “I don’t know what the future holds, but for now, we are taking each day as it comes. With the incredible support of my family, Lisa, Tony, and our friends, Jess and I find the strength to keep going.

“The Frigate has become more than just a pub to us—it’s a place where we feel at home, where we can find comfort, and where we can be ourselves. We are eternally grateful for the kindness and support that surrounds us.”

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