A bowel cancer patient who a year ago struggled to walk 100 yards from his hospital bed is among thousands preparing to take part in the Marsden March.
The walk, which raises money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, begins at 9am on Sunday (March 19) at the Chelsea hospital and is expected to see 5,500 people take part.
The event features a 14 mile or five mile sponsored walk between The Royal Marsden’s hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton.
Among those taking part this year is Tom Marfleet, from Hampton Wick.
This time last year the 40-year-old was in hospital receiving treatment for bowel cancer.
He said: “On the day of the 2016 Marsden March I was an inpatient at the Royal Marsden in Sutton and struggled to walk 100 yards from my bed to applaud the participants as they finished.
“By mid-October after my operation [to remove the tumours] it took me 10 minutes to get out of bed and there was no way I could walk even 14 steps.
“So 14 miles is a big challenge for me, but one I think well worth meeting to help fund more research into this horrible disease that unfortunately we are all going to be impacted by at some stage in our lives.”
The Marsden March was set up in 2011 as a way for patients, staff, friends and family to show their support or honour a loved one.
Money raised is donated to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which funds pioneering work in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and care to improve the lives of patients at The Royal Marsden and people with cancer throughout the UK and beyond.
In total The Marsden March has raised more than £8million since its launch .
Among the celebrities expected to take part are Marsden March regulars Richard and Fred Fairbrass from Right Said Fred , comedian Tim Vine and EastEnders actor and I’m a Celebrity contestant Larry Lamb.
The march, which includes a shorter five-mile route, starts at the Chelsea hospital site in Fulham Road at 9am.
Anyone wanting to sponsor Mr Marfleet can visit his website here .
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