Tom is running the London Marathon for cancer charity
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich-based estate agent Tom Orford is taking on his greatest sporting challenge - to raise money for The Lymphoma Association.
Tom,45, is in training for the London Marathon, in April, and wants to make a good contribution to the charity by doing it.
It will be the first London Marathon for him - and probably the last.
He said: “I was never a runner, I used to do team sports at school, but I always played at the back.
“I wanted to do something that was a real challenge, which was not fun.
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“The team games I played have taken a toll of my knees. I hate running.”
The Lymphoma Association is a cause close to his heart, as Tom is a cancer patient; now, thankfully cleared and told he need not return for checks for another five years.
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“The Lymphoma Association provides lots of support for people in similar situations to myself, and funds a lot of research as well.”
Tom was diagnosed with a rare form of Non Hogkin’s Lymphoma in 2013, and subsequently was treated at hospital. He had undergone five months of chemotherapy and a month of radiotherapy to tackle the illness.
“It was pretty horrendous.
“I am very grateful for the care and treatment I have had and wanted to give something back. I also want to raise awareness.
“Initially I had a bad cough, and was very tired, and eventually the GP sent me for a scan.
“My wife asked me why I kept falling asleep.
“I shoulld have taken it more seriously, earlier.
“Then I was in the swimming pool, with two of my children on my shoulders - and I could hardly carry them, I thought I was going to drown.
“Then I realised it was something serious.”
After hospital treatment he had to regain his strength, put on weight and see his hair grow back over the following months.
And he returned to work.
Tom is married to Victoria, and they have three chidren.
He said: “My wife has been fantastic, and I have had great support from family and friends, and from Savills.”
Tom has worked for Savills in Ipswich for 24 years and is now head of their residential department, selling country and larger houses.
He lives at Cretingham and has found a training partner in estate agent Stuart Clarke, of Clarke % Simpson.
“I have also had support from Ollie Peacock, who works at Jackson-Stops & Staff in Bury St Edmunds, He is a very good runner.
Cancer used to be a taboo word, only spoken in whispers.
But cancer survivors want the public to know about it, and to support fundraising for the cancer charities, in order to help other patients, and to fund research.
It is a growing area of concern.
More cancer patients are comng forward, and many more are being treated and a surviving.
Thankfully many of us; with expert care and treatment, come through cancer.
I am also one of them.
So I empathize with Tom as he gets on with his life.
His fundraising page is: