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Pete Smith

60Mile Ultra marathon - Self sufficient

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]In January 2017 my mum, Sue, was waiting for the scan results on her “kidney stones” when we all received the devastating news that she actually had a cancerous tumour. Even worse, it was a locally advanced inoperable pancreatic adenocarcinoma – pancreatic cancer.[/p][p]Pancreatic cancer treatment has not developed a great deal in comparison to other cancers: Over the last 40 years survival has improved for most cancers, but not for pancreatic cancer, and has the lowest survival rate of all cancers: just 3-6% of those diagnosed will live for a further five years.[/p][p]At the moment, the best course of action for most patients is surgery to remove the tumour completely, however this is major surgery and involves removing most if not all of the pancreas and part of the intestines - but only 20% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed early enough for this to be an option. Life expectancy is 4-6months for the remaining 80%. Mum was in this 80% bracket; given the size of the tumour and its proximity to her aorta, surgery wasn’t an option.[/p][p]The Ipswich Hospital were less optimistic for mum, and thought her prognosis was closer to 3 months. Anyone who has been lucky enough to meet her, knows she’s not one to give up easily (ever!), so once the initial shock had passed, her determination to meet this head on and beat it returned. As she constantly reminded me – she beat cancer twice before, and this wasn’t going to be any different! She was referred to the Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge as the local specialist centre, and though they were more bullish, a prognosis of 11 months pending responding well to Chemotherapy still wasn’t good enough for her. We compiled a lot of our own research, and paid to send off her scan results to the Heidelberg University in Germany for a second opinion, renowned experts in performing Whipple Surgery (removal of the pancreas, and duodenum with the tumour), as we had heard they would often operate where UK hospitals would not thanks to their experience. Their opinion was the same: the proximity to the aorta meant surgery was not possible – at this stage – but to undergo chemotherapy and send the future scans back to see if anything changed.[/p][p]So, that was that. She was going to have chemotherapy, visiting the Addenbrooke’s hospital every other Saturday morning for 6 months, and it was going to blast the tumour. Well, the tumour was well and truly blasted. Mum managed to stay incredibly upbeat and positive throughout this time, despite the chemotherapy drugs ravaging her body causing a few long stays in hospital, and all her hair falling out after the first session. All of her scans pointed to the tumour getting smaller, which was what we all wanted to hear. Radiotherapy followed after some recovery time, again shrinking the tumour further, but surgery was still not an option. We were now into 2018, well past her original prognosis.[/p][p]As a small aside at this point, mum met quite a number of other people with the same diagnosis as her, undergoing the same treatment, and has formed close friendships with a number of them. Not all of them are still with us now, including a very close personal friend whom they shared many holidays with to Lanzarote, who was unfortunately diagnosed very late in 2017 and passed away only a couple of short weeks later. But many others are still progressing with treatment, and they have formed an information sharing group regarding all treatments and remedies they have come across. Hopefully any money I am able to raise will also increase the profile of the Nanoknife© treatment – see below![/p][p]This was where treatment on the NHS stopped. Further chemotherapy wasn’t an option at this stage, but they were happy with how the tumour had responded so far so wanted mum to come in for scans every three months to ensure the tumour wasn’t starting to grow again, and to enjoy some time without treatment. This felt more like a hangman’s noose hanging around her neck, so despite two “positive” scans, we continued to research further and came into contact with Professor Lean at the Princes Grace Hospital in London, who was pioneering the Nanoknife © treatment – A minimally invasive treatment, involving inserting electrodes into the tumour (lots of high-tech scans to ensure the right placement) and then blasting it for 2 minutes with lots of current. And that’s it. Tumour dead. Professor lean reviewed all of mum’s results and felt that she was an excellent candidate and felt strongly that he would be able to kill off the remaining tumour cells, but there were two main issues at this point:[/p][p]- The treatment was only available privately, and would cost c. £14k[/p][p]- The cancer markers in mum’s blood had actually been increasing in both her previous scans, unbeknownst to her (poor communication from the NHS), and a mark on her lung suggested the tumour was on the move. Not good[/p][p]Well, within a week she had arranged an appointment to go and have the pancreatic tumour blasted. But with the spot on her lung, she would need to go back again for the same treatment. Another £14k. This is where the Patrick Evans Foundation stepped in, arranging to pay for the second surgery, as all bills for private treatment need to be settled upfront. Whilst my mum has at times worked three full time jobs at the same time (no joke!) she was supposed to be finally and firmly enjoying her well earned retirement, and we were struggling to get together c. £30k in the space of a week.[/p][p]The intention now is to raise all of the money back, for a wonderful charity, so that they can continue to help others the way they have helped us. Please check out http://www.patrickevansfoundation.co.uk/ if you don't know who they are, they do some amazing things![/p][p]I wanted to do something pretty challenging, but also personal, so have set my own ultra marathon goal, “running” from Ipswich hospital where I was born, to Coopersale in Epping, where mum was born. All 60 miles of it (100km)! It won’t be an organised race, so I’ll be carrying or buying all my nutrition on the way, with the only target being to finish inside the battery life of my Garmin so it can all be recorded on Strava – so about 18hours max! I hate running. And am not built for anything more than a few miles (a half marathon tops), so this is going to be an epic challenge for me. Please, if you can and would like to support me, donate to this amazing charity. You can keep a track of my progress on Strava for now – and the actual “Ultra” once it’s completed. If you look at my activity profile, you’ll see it’s spiked recently!! And if anyone wants to run part of the way with me, please let me know :)[/p][p]I’ll update with any progress on mum’s scans, but at the moment, two surgeries down and everything looks good. We’re crossing everything and hoping it stays that way[/p][p][br][/p][p] Pancreatic Cancer Action UK [url=https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/pancreatic-cancer/stats-facts/research-funding/]https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/pancreatic-cancer/stats-facts/research-funding/[/url][/p][p] Pancreatic Cancer Action UK https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/pancreatic-cancer/stats-facts/prognosis-survival/ [/p][p] American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-treating-surgery[/p]
60Mile Ultra marathon - Self sufficient image 1
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Personal Challenge Date

25 Aug 2018


Oct 9, 2018


Very impressive performance and all the best to your mum

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Oct 9, 2018


Very touching story and hope all goes well with your mum!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 29, 2018



Sep 13, 2018


Better late than never... Well done Pete, you superstar!!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 6, 2018


Just topping up my last donation. So proud of you xx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 3, 2018

Mike and Sheila Stevens

Well done Pete!!! Best wishes to your Mum.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Sep 1, 2018


Well done buddy, massive achievement! Ps sorry this is late, haven’t had my debit card with me whilst I have been away!

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid

Sep 1, 2018


Massive well done! Xxx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Aug 30, 2018

Mike B

Well done Pete!

£75.00 plus £18.75 Gift Aid

Aug 30, 2018


Amazing monster achievement Pete!!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid