Wayne Groves was stunned when he won the Fundraiser of the Year category at the Best of South Tyneside Awards.
Judges heard how big-hearted Wayne, from South Shields, had just been diagnosed with crippling arthritis yet despite the pain, he did the Great North Run, won a charity boxing bout, zip lined, and abseiled for charity.
He had a night to remember at the awards on April 28 but sadly, his stepmother Linda Flood, 70, and his dad George Flood, 72, also from South Shields, could not be there for health reasons. Both had suffered a bug.
On top of that, Linda was also recuperating after having a 2-centimetre cancerous tumour and part of her right lung removed.
The awards night came just over three weeks after she had surgery at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on April 5.
Amazingly, Linda only found out she had cancer days before she went into hospital yet doctors believe they have caught all of it during the operation, she said.
"I’d had a bad cough for 3 weeks. They sent me for an X-ray and found I had a 2 centimetre cancerous growth. I had scans, X rays and a biopsy.
"I had tests at South Shields Hospital, a biopsy at Sunderland the operation in Newcastle. I was only in hospital on the Monday and I was home by the Friday.
"Even the doctors said I have been very lucky.”
She praised all of the NHS staff who looked after her and said: “All of the people who helped me were really good and I am very thankful.”
In an eventful month, Wayne then faced his own big moment when he was in the running for an award.
Wayne thanked all of his family for their support and said Linda had been incredible for the way she had coped with her health battle.
He said: “She is the real life super hero for the way she has dealt with it all. She has taken it all in her stride. She found a strength that she did not think she had.”
He remembered the awards night as an amazing experience and said: “I would have given up the award for her not to have gone through it all but we both got a good outcome in the end.”
Linda, who used to work at South Shields Asda for 22 years, had a message to other people who suspects they may have a health issue.
"Get checked out,” she said. “It could have been a lot worse. That X-ray saved my life.”
For the first time since 2019, the Best of South Tyneside Awards were held.
Our thanks go to the venue hosts, the Roker Hotel, and the sponsors South Tyneside Council, South Tyneside College, JML, Harlow Printing, Siemens, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Goldfinch Estate Agents, and Barbour.