A cancer survivor is hitting the road for the charity that gave him the ability to run again.
Aaron Henderson, 25, of John Williamson Street, South Shields, was left unable to walk because of a tumour in his spine.
Three years after learning to walk again, he is limbering up to do the 13.1-mile Great North Run.
Web developer Aaron is running in the half-marathon race from Newcastle to South Shields in September for CLIC Sargent, the charity that supported him and his family through his illness.
In 2004, when Aaron was just 14, a teacher noticed his running had become lopsided, and a scan revealed a tumour.
Radiotherapy was able to shrink the tumour but it left him with permanent nerve damage to his right side.
In 2012, Aaron was told that the tumour had started to grow back again and he required an operation to remove it.
He said:“They warned me that there was a chance the operation could leave me paralysed and afterwards I had to completely learn to walk again.”
Aaron is busy training for the race and is encouraging others to sign up to run for CLIC Sargent, saying: “When I had my operation, CLIC Sargent gave me a lot of support with finances because I was living miles from home then and I wasn’t able to work.”
Holli Kellett, CLIC Sargent running events fundraising manager, said: “We’re so proud of Aaron and can’t wait to cheer him to the finish line at the Great North Run.”
Although he still has to go for scans every six months, Aaron remains positive, adding:“Sometimes it can be a bit much and the running causes pins and needles in my legs, but regularly running seems to help.
“I can definitely see myself doing a marathon in the future, may be the London Marathon next year!”