A SOUTH Tyneside charity champion has bravely embarked on a “bucket list” fundraising mission after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Greg Lamb is battling cancer of the oesophagus and doesn’t know how much longer he has to live.
But the defiant 35-year-old is determined not to let the disease destroy what time he has left, and will instead devote his days to helping worthy causes.
The former barman has set himself a list of challenges, which include:
* Tackling the Great North Run for the first time.
* Taking part in a zip-wire challenge from the Stadium of Light.
* Walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
* Visiting every one of the 92 football clubs in England.
* Taking part in a helicopter ride.
Greg, of Front Street, East Boldon, hopes his story will inspire others to seek medical help before it’s too late, after he was told an earlier visit to his doctor may have prevented his condition.
Greg was working in bars in Tenerife in 2012 when he took ill. He was taken to hospital after collapsing and it was discovered he had a ruptured spleen.
From there, he says, his health went downhill.
He returned home in May 2012, but unknown to him, he had been suffering from a condition called Barrett’s oesophagus, which can lead to cancer if not detected and monitored early.
Sadly for Greg, he was diagnosed with cancer later that September.
He said: “For the first six months after being diagnosed, I just sat around doing nothing – I just didn’t really know what was happening. I suppose I was letting it all sink in.
“Then, one day, I just decided I couldn’t do this any more. I could either sit around feeling sorry for myself and waste what life I had left, or I could get on and do the things I never had the chance to do because I was too busy working.
“It’s all about looking forward to things – it is what is keeping me going.”
Unaware he had Barrett’s oesophagus, Greg had put down his poor health as symptoms of a hangover.
Greg, from Front Street, East Boldon, said: “I used to work 17/18 hours a day in bars in Tenerife. I was getting tired, getting sick and eating had started to become a problem.
“But I was never one to go to the doctor’s, I just kept putting it down to drinking and the hangovers.
“But the doctors have told me, if I had gone to the doctor and had received treatment earlier, I may not have terminal cancer now.
“If anything comes from me telling my story, it really is to encourage people not to do what I did and to seek advice from their GP.”