A KEEN runner who helped his mum battle ovarian cancer will take on the Great North Run in September to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Matthew Skinns, 23, from Little Weighton, decided to take part in the half marathon following his mother Marianne’s treatment at Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham.
The University of Westminster graduate said: “In January my mum had a hysterectomy after troubles with acid indigestion and stomach pains. Following tests post-op she was informed that in the left ovary they had found cancer cells. Luckily the doctors were confident they had removed the majority of the cancer, but she undertook six sessions of chemotherapy. During this difficult time for her, myself and our family we saw lots of highs and lows but she battled through and is now on the road to recovery.”
Nearly 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. The disease can be hard to detect because women often attribute early symptoms to other causes. Despite this, there are currently no guidelines for screening, and although clinical trials into the value of screening are currently taking place, the results will not be available for some time.
Matthew continued: “What astounded me is screening for ovarian cancer is still a work in progress and had she not have had a hysterectomy she might not have caught the cancer so early. The facilities and support given at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham, near Hull, were phenomenal. Because of what my mum has been through and the fantastic care she received I decided Yorkshire Cancer Research would be a fitting charity to raise money for.”
Matthew is no stranger to running, having completed the Tromso Marathon, Norway, in July for Help for Heroes. He is now continuing his training regime, running five or six times a week, to build back up to half marathon distance. Matthew will join 450 Yorkshire Cancer Research runners at the Great North Run, which raises £100,000 each year for the charity’s world-class research, treatment and diagnosis projects across the region.
He said: “I completed the marathon in 4 hours 19 minutes and 58 seconds and immediately looked for another challenge. The sense of achievement was massive for me, not only because I’d done something I’d always wanted to do but also because I’d raised nearly £500 for charity. Sport has always been a passion of mine and it renewed my desire to push myself.”