A grandfather battling cancer defied doctors’ orders to wade into the icy-cold North Sea to help raise £3,000 for charity.
Despite his ill-health, Ian Hebson was determined to be part of the line-up backing South Shields charity Cancer Connections at a Boxing Day dip.
The 61-year-old, battling lung cancer after being diagnosed in October, has now collected all the sponsorship money he was pledged and handed it over to the charity.
Since being given the news, he and his family have received support from Cancer Connections, based in Harton Lane.
Each year, the charity holds a charity dip to help raise the £100,000 it needs annually to keep providing services.
After finding out about the event during one of his visits, Mr Hebson signed up and was quickly joined by family members including wife Carolyn, son Paul, daughter Carly and the couple’s grandchildren Reece, 15, Ethan, seven and Oliver, five.
Just weeks before the event, however, his health took a turn for the worse, and both his family and doctors advised him not to take part.
He chose to ignore that advice, though, and, on December 26, took his place, dressed in a Superman T-shirt, on Little Haven Beach, in South Shields, alongside his family.
Mr Hebson, of Norwich Way, Fellgate, Jarrow, said: “I had no idea when I first said I was going to do it that it would raise so much money.
“I just thought ‘let’s go for it, and see what we get’.
“Before the dip, I fell ill, and the doctor kept saying don’t go in, but I was determined.”
Mr Hebson, currently being cared for by St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow, was diagnosed with lung cancer after a chance conversation with his doctor.
He had visited his GP in September after suffering from ringing in his ears and mentioned that he was often short of breath.
He underwent tests, and in October, he and his wife were given the devastating news he had lung cancer.
Cancer Connections co-founder Deborah Roberts said: “Knowing how ill Ian was and seeing him on the day going into the water with his family, it was just priceless. This is what Cancer Connections is all about – supporting and inspiring one another.
“The amount that has been raised by Ian and his family is phenomenal.
“We rely heavily on donations, and we really can’t thank them enough. It really is unbelievable.”