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Great grandfather marks 10 years of cancer with charity walking challenge

Ralph White is raising money for Derian House children’s hospice.

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(Tom White)

(Tom White)

(Tom White)

A great grandfather is undertaking a 10-day walking challenge to mark 10 years of living with cancer – just weeks after undergoing a major operation.

Ralph White, 75, was diagnosed with stromal sarcoma of the prostate in 2012, leading to six weeks of radiotherapy and ultimately surgery and a urostomy.

Last year, another tumour was found, in his bowel, leading to further surgery, a Christmas spent in hospital and a colostomy.

On Sunday, 10 days after being discharged from the Christie Hospital in Manchester, Mr White, from Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, began a challenge to raise money for a children’s hospice.

He will walk two miles every day for 10 days, just a few weeks after undergoing major surgery.

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(Tom White)

(Tom White)

(Tom White)

“Originally I did say to my wife, because it’s 10 years with cancer and all the tens, should I try and walk 10 miles?

“And she said, ‘don’t be a bloody idiot – there’s no way you’re going to walk 10 miles after being out of hospital for 10 days with major surgery’.

“So we started off trying to come up with a figure that was sensible, but that would make people think ‘blimey, I don’t walk two miles a day’.”

Mr White, will raise money for Derian House, a children’s hospice which provides end-of-life care to 400 young people and their families across Lancashire, south Cumbria and Greater Manchester.

Mr White and his wife have supported the charity for nearly 10 years after it provided help to the grandson of a family friend.

He wanted to do something to help the charity as soon as possible after coming out of hospital.

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(Tom White)

(Tom White)

(Tom White)

“This is my second major cancer and you look and you see kids of five, six, seven, eight who aren’t gonna live for another couple of years because of it,” he said.

“And you just say, ‘blimey, let’s try and do something’.”

Mr White, who has three children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild, is positive about his own situation.

He will remain under the care of the Christie for another 10 years, something for which he is very grateful.

“I feel very lucky that I can still carry on with a fairly normal life and I haven’t got to worry about looking for a toilet,” he joked.

“You feel so lucky to be alive, basically.

“If I can live another 10 years that means I’ll see a lot more of the kids, the great grandkids – and this (walking challenge) kind of means that I’m determined to do that.”

Mr White hopes to raise at least £1,000 for Derian House.

To donate, head to justgiving.com/fundraising/joanne-ward41

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