Here are some photos of my last trip to the Himalayas in November 2011. I remember one sleepless night on that trek being aware of a small lump in my neck and making a mental note to get it checked when I got back home. Five months later I started to undergo various tests and scans which ultimately led to me being diagnosed with throat cancer.
Now I had an altogether different kind of mountain to climb!
Looking back at these photos now, it's impossible to tell that I actually had cancer. But I do know that I have been very lucky in that the tumor was detected at a primary stage - early diagnosis made a difference to the type of treatment I received and massively increased the chances of a succesful outcome.
Thankfully, after 2 operations and a course of radiotherapy I have now been given the all clear. The skill and care of my consultant and the whole cancer support team throughout my illness was truly amazing and now more than ever I understand the importance of raising awareness and funds needed to support the ongoing battle against cancer.
The type of cancer I had contracted was viral (HPV) and one of many things I didn't know was that all girls aged 12 now thankfully get vaccinated against this virus, however for some reason boys don't!
One way we can change this and where everyone can help (whether you wish to make a donation or not) is to view the Campaigning for Change page on the Throat Cancer Foundation website and lobby your MP to support a motion which will help ensure boys also receive this immunisation. It's really simple to do, just copy and paste the link below into your search engine and follow the directions on the site:
At the end of March 2013, it will be 5 months since my radiotherapy treatment finished. It's been a tough journey, but I'm now starting to bounce back. To celebrate, me and my good friend, Phil Hall, will be setting off on a 10 day trek/pilgrimage in the Himalayas, taking in the Langtang Region and the holy lakes at Gosainkund. If along the way, we can raise awareness and hopefully some money to help prevent and find cures for this illness, then that would make this trek all the more worthwhile.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page - any support you can give is very much appreciated and together we really can make a difference.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - I raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.