By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 03 October 2013 Updated: 04/10 07:30
A REDDITCH worker who battled cancer has walked more than 2,000 kilometres to raise money for research into the disease.
Barry Wilkes was diagnosed with two neuroendocrine tumours in his abdomen last year and has since raised more than £2,500 for Cancer Research UK
The 45-year-old Halfords product manager, who lives in Northfield, took part in an all-night walking marathon in London on Saturday (September 28) as part of Stand Up To Cancer, which encourages fundraisers to stand up and be sponsored to help the charity’s research.
After developing a pain in his stomach, various tests showed a tumour in his bowel, from which cancerous cells had leaked into his abdomen where there was a second tumour. He underwent a six-hour operation last September to remove both as well as some cancerous lymph nodes. His latest scan, 11 months after surgery, was clear.
He said: “The tumour in my abdomen was huge. It looked twice the size of my heart on the CT scans. I ended up losing 20lbs in weight while I was in hospital and the consultant said the tumour was responsible for most of that.
“I class myself lucky that I didn’t need to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy, they were able to get all the cancer through the surgery and where the tumour was, it could have carried on growing a lot more without affecting other major organs. Though due to where it was growing it meant me losing half my bowel which I was not prepared for.
“I can’t run because of my knee cartilages which have been removed so I decided to do a walking challenge. I wanted something to focus on and also give something back to try to stop anyone else getting this dreadful disease.”
He added he began walking a couple of miles at a time five or six times a week and had gradually increased to longer distances, setting himself a target of 2,013km for the year which he has now beaten.
“The way I am now compared to several months ago is a vast difference. I haven’t been beaten since all this started and wasn’t going to be beaten on my walking challenge.”
Visit standuptocancer.org.uk for more information or to get involved.
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