A Barnstaple cancer survivor is running 1,000 miles this year to fundraise towards a new cancer and wellbeing centre.
Anthony Price, 36, said the new centre would be ‘a breath of fresh air’ and has decided to take on the challenge for Over and Above.
He is hoping to complete the distance – the equivalent of 38.2 marathons – by running around 20 miles a week on average.
Anthony has completed several fundraising efforts for Over and Above and Cancer Research UK over the years, but the £1.5million cancer and wellbeing centre appeal is close to his heart.
In 1997, aged just 15, the former Braunton School pupil was diagnosed with cancer of the neck and throat and had to undergo a year of intensive treatement.
He said: “I found a lump on my neck when I was 13 and had a cough, and for two years doctors kept telling me it was just a gland, but it kept growing.
“My friend’s dad was a doctor and I went to see him; he drove me straight to A&E where I had surgery and the next day I was diagnosed with cancer.
“I underwent 10 months of intensive chemotherapy and five weeks of intensive radiotherapy; I had to travel to Bristol and only really had the weekends ‘off’.”
Although now nearly 21 years cancer free, Anthony said the new cancer and wellbeing centre would still be invaluable to him.
He said: “I still suffer from ‘chemo brain’ – I get words muddled and forget things – and I feel like a GP doesn’t have enough knowledge in that area for me to speak to them about it.
“To be able to come and speak to someone at this new centre who understands, who specialises in that area, would just be brilliant.”
Anthony, who has just finished a degree in psychology with Open University, is also taking a course with Macmillan to become a therapist for cancer patients.
“I’d love to be able to give something back and help others going through a similar experience,” he said.
“When I had my treatment, if this centre had been around it would have been invaluable.
“But I think even for people like me who have been cancer free for years, it will be an incredible asset for North Devon.”