Fighting fit: Dad-of-five running Race for Life to mark the all-clear from cancer
A cancer survivor is celebrating receiving the all-clear from testicular cancer by participating in the Race for Life event in Belfast.
Father-of-five Rob Humphreys, from Ballymoney, was diagnosed with stage 4 testicular cancer in 2013, and was told the disease had spread to his stomach, chest and lungs.
At the time, the 37-year-old and his wife Danielle were warned that adverse consequences of Rob's cancer treatment meant they might not be able to have any more children naturally.
However, in an extraordinary outcome against the odds, the couple has gone on to welcome three more boys, with baby Cooper Jaxon Humphreys being the most recent arrival..
He was born on May 6 - just hours after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, revealed Rob.
Cooper has four big brothers: Alfie (9), Reuben (8), three-year old Jacob and Carter (2).
Last December Rob received the five-year 'all clear' from cancer. And to mark the milestone he will be taking part with Alfie and Reuben in Cancer Research UK's Race for Life in Stormont Estate.
The event, to be held on Sunday, May 26, will raise funds for life-saving cancer research.
"Alfie, Reuben and I are so excited about doing the 5k Race for Life event at Stormont Estate. It's the first time that men can take part in the event so it's great to be a part of it as I've heard it is such an uplifting event," said Rob. "The boys have seen me raise funds for Cancer Research UK before through various challenges but this is the first time they have actually taken part themselves."
He added: "I'm very fortunate to be in good health to enjoy spending time with my family and taking part in these events and I know that for others, sadly, the reality is much less positive."
Rob said: "My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK's work is so important, so now I want to do everything I can to raise awareness of the power of research in beating the disease.
"There's still time for others to join us by signing up for Race for Life on May 26 at www.raceforlife.org."
Reflecting on his growing family, the Ballymoney man said: "We are so thrilled to have baby Cooper here and his big brothers haven't wanted leave his side since he's come home from hospital.
"We feel very blessed to have five healthy boys, three of them born following my cancer diagnosis and treatment, and a five-a-side football team is certainly looking likely in our house!"
Since his diagnosis Rob has been a keen fundraiser for Cancer Research UK and has raised around £7,000 for the charity through sporting challenges.
Rob had been set to run the Belfast marathon this year but due to a combination of a chest infection and Cooper's impending arrival, he opted to do the Walled City Marathon in Co Londonderry instead, on June 2 - a week after completing the 5k Race for Life event with his two oldest boys.
Thousands of people are expected to descend on Stormont Estate to take part in the 5k and 10k events on May 26 while on Saturday, September 7, Pretty Muddy for children is being held in Ormeau Park, Belfast. Frances Kippax-Geary, Cancer Research UK's NI events manager, yesterday urged more people to sign up for the events, stressing they help raise millions of pounds every year.
"Our Race for Life events help people with cancer by raising money for research, including clinical trials which give patients in Northern Ireland access to the latest treatments," she explained. "Around one person in Northern Ireland is diagnosed with cancer every hour. Sadly, this means nearly everyone is touched by the disease, either directly or through a loved one or friend."
- To enter Race for Life please visit raceforlife.org or phone 0300 123 0770