Local man runs 2000km to help win the fight against pancreatic cancer
Thom Sutcliffe, 26 year old from Stevenage, is taking on the incredible challenge of running 2 megametres over the space of the year which is 2000 km (or the distance from London to Corfu). Thom is even more motivated to take on this challenge to raise vital funds for Pancreatic Cancer Action after his mum sadly passed away from the disease.
Ruth had a persistent stitch-like pain for a few weeks in August which led her to visit her GP which he suspected was gallstones and ordered an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed liver abnormalities, so a CT scan and more specific blood tests were arranged.
By December Ruth’s abdominal pain was much worse. She was taken to hospital for an emergency CT scan. This showed a tumour on her pancreas that was pushing in to her duodenum, and a secondary tumour on her liver. Sadly, Ruth passed away just 7 weeks after her diagnosis.
Thom says “After my initial shock/grief reaction, I wanted to do something to help. My mum always taught me and my siblings to try to find a way to make something good come of any situation, no matter how dire; and to try to help others in everything we do.
The speed of this cancer really struck me – before my mum’s diagnosis I had no idea how bad the statistics for pancreatic cancer were.
My biggest hope is that, as a result of my fundraising, there will be a person/family somewhere that don’t have to go through the same devastating process my mum and family are going through now.
I decided to fundraise for Pancreatic Cancer Action because of the focus on early diagnosis – from my limited knowledge of the medical side of things, the only way people will really stand a chance at surviving pancreatic cancer is if it is diagnosed quickly.”
Pancreatic cancer is the UK’s 5th biggest cancer killer. The survival rate is just 5% which is the lowest of any cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Action is committed to working towards earlier diagnosis of the disease so that surgery, currently the only cure, is made available to the sufferer. The charity fund research into early diagnosis, provide medical education programmes, and launch awareness campaigns.
Ali Stunt, Founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action, said: “We are delighted that Thom is giving his time to support Pancreatic Cancer Action in such an incredible challenge. We are so sorry to hear about Thom’s mum. It is lovely that you are helping to raise awareness and funds for this disease.”
If you would like to support Thom in this amazing challenge, visit his Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thom-sutcliffe