A fundraiser from Newcastle-under-Lyme is set to take on the Chicago Marathon this weekend in support of his friend who was diagnosed with cancer.
Chris Bailey will be hitting the streets of the Windy City on Sunday to raise funds for UHNM Charity.
His friend and running partner Mark ‘Cazzer’ Ankers was diagnosed with mouth cancer in May.
Chris is running the 26.2 miles around America’s second city to thank the Maxillofacial team at University Hospitals North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) who have provided ‘fantastic care’.
Chris said: “Originally I had no intention of running this marathon for charity, rather a personal goal. However in May my marathon running buddy Cazzer’s life was turned upside down when he was shockingly diagnosed with mouth cancer.
“Ordinarily he would have been my training partner for this marathon too, but obviously this is no longer possible.”
Mark underwent a 17-hour operation in June to remove part of his jaw, the lining of his throat and cheek as well as the lymph nodes from his neck. His jaw was then reconstructed using bones and several skin grafts from his leg.
Chris added: “The treatment he received from Mr Gahir, Mr Thomas and the wider Maxillofacial team at Royal Stoke is incredible. Not only have they provided amazing and invaluable support to Mark, but also his family during this incredibly difficult time- they have become part of the Ankers family.
“Cazzer now faces an intensive course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment and he will continue to be supported by the Maxillofacial team at UHNM for at least another five years.”
Speaking about his treatment at UHNM Mark said: “The care I have received from Mr Gahir, Mr Thomas and the wider Maxillofacial team from the minute I walked through the door has been amazing- not only for myself, but for the support given to my wife and daughter.”
“I should also mention the excellent care in the Surgical Special Care Unit (SSCU) and also the fantastic team at the Cancer Centre. My journey is not over and the Maxillofacial team will be part of my life for many years to come. We all take the NHS for granted but it’s not until you are living the nightmare that you really appreciate just how invaluable they truly are.”
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