A cancer survivor proved he is fitter than ever by completing the John West Great North Swim at the weekend.
Neil Mainon, of Wheelton, who was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in December 2016, swam two miles across Windermere, raising more than £640 for Cancer Help, in Vine House, Preston. He swam with friends Ged Tighe and Chris Duncan, both of Whittle-le-Woods.
The 60-year-old said: “I am supporting Vine House because of the support they gave me when I needed it most. I am still in touch with members of the HOPE support group. Cancer does not end with physical recovery, as there is still the mental recovery to go though and Cancer Help is good at that. It is such a wonderful place and a haven for people like me to feel at peace and heal amongst amazing and inspirational people. It was always my ambition that when I got my strength up, I would give something back.
“I swam in my younger days but I have not swam a great distance for years, but I have been hugely supported by my friends at my open water swimming club.”
The father-of-three was told he had laryngeal cancer after he was coughing up unexplained matter and had a sore throat and constant tickly cough. He went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy and had to have a feeding tube as he could not swallow. As a result he went down in weight from 17st to 13st. He was given the ‘all clear’ in May 2017 and attends checkups every three months.
He said: “I feel very blessed and grateful that all my friends in the health profession have helped to get me to this stage.
“I am fitter now than I was before the cancer. Cancer Help assisted me and encouraged me in my physical and mental recovery. They increased my determination to finish the swimming challenge. I managed the two miles in two hours, Ged Tighe and Chris Duncan around the one hour 30 mark. It was fine earlier in the event but quickly turned to windy conditions which seemed to make the water even colder.”
To support Neil, Chris and Ged, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-mainon.