North Devon man running more than 100 miles for cancer charities
- Credit: Contributed
A North Devon man is set to run more than 100 miles to raise money for two cancer charities.
Kevin White has set himself the challenge of running six kilometres each day in June, covering the distance of a marathon each week.
By the time he finishes, the IT support specialist will have covered 180km, or 111 miles – the equivalent of four marathons.
The 44-year-old has been inspired by Debbie, his wife of nearly 20 years, who has been diagnosed with cancer twice in the last 10 years.
Kevin said: “Back in 2010 the most important person in my life was diagnosed with breast cancer.
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“Following months of difficult treatment and her desire to survive, she found the strength to beat it and was subsequently given the all clear.
“In 2017 she had the devastating news that it had come back as a secondary cancer that had spread elsewhere.
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“Somehow, she has mustered up the same desire and strength to not give in to it, and currently things are being controlled with treatment.
“Throughout all this, apart from where treatment dictated, she has continued to work on the frontline as an NHS community nurse looking after people in their own homes.
“The current Covid-19 pandemic has meant she can no longer work in the community due to ongoing chemotherapy treatment, meaning she is immunocompromised, but is still busy working from home contacting patients via phone and supporting her colleagues.”
Kevin is completing the challenge on a treadmill linked to an app, which allows him to watch his progress on at TV in a virtual setting with other runners and cyclists.
He has been posting his progress daily on his fundraising page, and has raised nearly £500 for FORCE Cancer Charity and Breast Cancer Care.
Kevin added: “Doing it every day is a big challenge with my level of fitness but the benefits are two-fold - an opportunity to improve my fitness and weight and raise some funds.
“Running is a popular way to raise money but because I can’t go out with Deb shielding, I fixed the treadmill. I’m enjoying it. I’ve struggled some days, especially when it was hot but it’s more comfortable in the cooler weather.”
Debbie, a Barnstaple-based nurse, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and after having treatment at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, she discovered FORCE, which has clinics across the county.
Debbie said: “At the time I was first diagnosed there was nothing like this in North Devon.
“I found FORCE very helpful. At times it can feel like you are in the middle of nowhere not knowing where to turn. FORCE helped me to put things into perspective.
“We came to a breast reconstruction evening where I was able to chat to women who had gone through the same procedure and it helped me to make a decision.
“I had already read about it but having the chance to talk to people who had gone through it was really helpful.”