x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Tributes for Meydan executive who tweeted his cancer battle

Tributes pour in after wife of Meydan executive Dave Hodgson announces his death to his 2,500 followers on Twitter.

From left to right: Olivia, Natalie and Dave Hodgson.
From left to right: Olivia, Natalie and Dave Hodgson.

Tributes have begun pouring in for the Meydan executive Dave Hodgson after he lost his highly publicised two-year battle with cancer.

Mr Hodgson, the corporate communications director for Meydan, had documented his fight against a rare but aggressive form of metastatic skin cancer on the Twitter social network, tweeting to his 2,500 followers throughout his treatment. The 41-year-old's last tweet came two days before his death.

He was recently featured in The National's Personal Finance section, saying he planned to splurge over the holidays because he might not see another Christmas.

After his wife, Natalie, used Twitter to announce his death at 9.50pm on New Year's Eve, hundreds of tweets expressed condolences.

His avid interest in sport, particularly Wigan Athletic Football Club, meant many of his Twitter followers were leading sportsmen.

"Your courage, will to live, love for your family and strength is inspiring. I am a better person for having met you."

Mr Hodgson spent Christmas Day in hospital and tweeted: "What an amazing day. Wife, daughter, mum and sister all in hospital room. DVDs, toys, carnage! Bloody ace! And several horrid moments. Wow!"

Mr Hodgson moved to the UAE in 2009, the year after he was diagnosed with the rare melanoma. After an initial round of treatment was successful, he was told in July he had less than 12 months to live.

The couple went on their postponed honeymoon in the Maldives that month and Mr Hodgson then spent the past few months taking a revolutionary new treatment in Chicago, even returning to work briefly in November.

"Very few people get to achieve their dreams but Dave did," Mrs Hodgson said.

"He loved sport and had always wanted to live in Dubai so when he got the job and we moved here he was where he wanted to be."

Mr Hodgson also leaves behind a seven-year-old daughter, Olivia.

His funeral will be held at the Warwickshire church where the couple had a marriage blessing in April this year. A wake will be held at his home in Dubai. His ashes will be spread across the lake at his home and also at Wigan Athletic Football Club.

arayer@thenational.ae