Earlier in the year, just before his 37th birthday, Keith from Manchester suddenly became very ill with symptoms such as, pale stools, stomach pain, weight loss, loss of appetite and indigestion. As most people do these days, Keith “googled” his symptoms and was faced with the possibility of pancreatic cancer.
Keith was in disbelief. His friends, family and doctor all agreed he was too young, and that it was unlikely. Incidence of diagnosis increases from the age of 45, however the disease is not limited to this age and many people get diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at a much younger age.
For Keith, the symptoms didn’t go away and then came the CT scan results: “there may be a mass on your pancreas”. Keith described this as devastating to say the least and was referred for an MRI scan.
In the midst of this potential diagnosis, Keith had visited the Pancreatic Cancer Action website in a search for advice and support. This is when he came across, as he defined it, some truly inspirational stories of patients that he read through teary eyes.
Keith claimed “I’m amazed how brave people can be in the face of despair. The bravery shown by newly diagnosed patients was something far greater than I can ever manage. “
Keith was incredibly fortunate to receive the news that the MRI scan confirmed no lesion or tumour. It was a shadow on the CT scan. He counts himself extremely lucky and promised himself, if the results were clear, he would do something to help. So, he’s going ahead with his promise and running the Great Manchester Run in aid of Pancreatic Cancer Action to help those who weren’t so lucky with their diagnosis.
Having never done anything like this before, a 10K run will be a challenge (in Keith’s words!) for someone that gets tired walking from the lounge to the bedroom! He says “It’ll be so worth it, and would you believe it… the finish line is right outside my apartment! So, I can instantly go to bed afterwards!”
Keith is fundraising for his 10K challenge in May next year, and you can sponsor him by visiting his JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/keefyweefyruns10k. “If it encourages even one more person to fundraise then that would be wonderful. And hopefully people going through this disease will read my story and realise they are not alone.
We can’t thank Keith enough for sharing his story with us and choosing to represent us at the Great Manchester Run 2019 – if you’d like to share your story or take part in an event in aid of us, please get in touch!
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, which are persistent and are not normal for you, we recommend that you visit your GP or call NHS 111.