Ipswich: Bowel cancer sufferer Mark Davies to run Royal Parks Half Marathon in aid of Bowel Cancer UK

Mark Davies, pictured with his family, is battling bowel cancer and will be running a half marathon

Mark Davies, pictured with his family, is battling bowel cancer and will be running a half marathon for charity. - Credit: Archant

A bowel cancer sufferer from Suffolk has set himself the daunting challenge of running a half marathon to help others with his illness.

Mark Davies, 50, from Ipswich, will be taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday in aid of Bowel Cancer UK.

His wife Helen raised £9,500 for the charity by running last year’s event, when Mr Davies was too ill to compete himself.

The chartered accountant, who works in the City and was diagnosed last year, is determined to run alongside his wife this time round.

He said: “My training has not been ideal for a couple of reasons.

“Firstly just as I began getting on the road after my operation in late February it was time to start chemotherapy for four months.

“This involved a permanent plastic line in my shoulder which had to be kept sterile and clean, and physical activity resulted in me sweating into the dressing and risking infection.

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“The chemo process wasn’t helpful and knocked me out for about a week in every two weeks and as the cycles continued, my motivation and energy levels fell and my times slipped accordingly.

“I haven’t really been able to put the miles in and I have some catching up to do to get to where Helen is now.

“Lastly having a permanent ileostomy and wearing a bag isn’t ideal and, depending on when and what I have eaten, can and does influence when I am able to run and means that when I want to run isn’t necessarily convenient or comfortable, so this influences my planning and restricts when I can go out on the road.”

More than 41,500 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year and 16,000 people die from the disease.

Bowel Cancer UK said it is determined to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.

Sarah Weber, head of public fundraising for the charity, said: “Without people like Helen and Mark doing amazing fundraising events like this, Bowel Cancer UK couldn’t continue to do the vital work it does to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected by bowel cancer.”

The couple are supporting Bowel Cancer UK’s new ‘Time for Guts’ campaign, which is calling for improved survival rates and support for people with advanced bowel cancer, in a bid to save more lives from the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.

Fewer than one in 10 people diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer will survive for more than five years, compared with nine out of 10 people diagnosed at the earliest stage of the disease.