Grantham teacher prepares for month-long run to mark cancer anniversary
A secondary school teacher is preparing to embark on an epic month-long run to mark the 10th anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer.
Gareth Bennett, of Garden Close, Grantham, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April 2011, when he was just 28.
Now nearly 10 years in remission, the father-of-two hopes to raise £750 for Macmillan Cancer Support to thank them for the support he received.
Gareth said: “In April this year it will be 10 years since I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. This was devastating news to receive. At the age of 28, I was considered as being young to have bowel cancer but cancer doesn’t care about age and effects all ages.
“I had an operation to remove the tumour in May 2011, followed by chemotherapy. The chemotherapy was tough as it completely drained me of energy and made me feel unwell, but I was well supported by friends and family.”
To mark 10 years since being diagnosed, Gareth is challenging himself to complete a 10km run every day in April, 300 kilometres in total.
He added: “I chose 10km a day as it was a little nod to the fact that it has been 10 years since my cancer and I wanted to show how far I had come by doing something positive to help others.”
Gareth’s two children, Nelson, six, and four-year-old Darwin have been keeping their dad motivated with his training schedule and plan to join him for part of the distance in April.
Gareth , a teacher at Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, has also invited pupilsand staff as well family and friends to get involved by setting their own challenges to complete throughout April.
Gareth added: “This could be to run or walk or something else that they would like to challenge themselves to do. I am hoping that it will raise awareness and encourage people to set challenges and keep active during these challenging times.”
It’s not the first time that Gareth has raised money for charity since his diagnosis.
In 2013 he climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden as part of the Three Peaks Challenge, to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. He then went on to complete the Great North Run half marathon for Bowel Cancer UK in 2019.
He added: “I am looking to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support during a time that has been so difficult for charities. When I had my cancer, I was lucky to have their excellent support.”