Grandad battling pancreatic cancer smashes fundraising target in quest to help others
An inspirational South Shields man battling pancreatic cancer is nearing the end of a month-long walking challenge to help others with the disease.
Anthony Smith, 54, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer just four weeks ago.
The father-of-three, who also has a stepdaughter and a granddaughter, has been walking 10,000 steps a day throughout June to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer Action, which aims to improve early diagnosis of the disease.
Since his shock diagnosis, Anthony has also parasailed, enjoyed a family holiday to Icmeler in Turkey, and took part in a stag weekend, as he remains determined to live life to the full.
He said: “The diagnosis came as a huge shock and was out of the blue.
“The prognosis is very bleak, with only 1% of cases surviving five years, and 95% of cases will die within a year – most within six months.
“The reason is that pancreatic cancer symptoms only show when the disease is very advanced and has usually spread to other organs in the body.
“The main thing about what I’m doing at the moment is to raise awareness about this.
“I’d just encourage people to have regular health checks, because things can be picked up from routine blood tests.
“If people get tested early enough, they could possibly save themselves.”
Anthony, who is a specification manager for a construction materials company, started his walking challenge with the aim of raising £2,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Action, but has already smashed through that figure, with £3,922 raised so far.
He added: “I’m very proud of what I’ve raised so far.
“In terms of my condition, I really don’t feel any different in myself.
“Since I was diagnosed, we have went on a family holiday to Turkey in Icmeler, I’ve parasailed and went on a stag weekend.
“I took the decision not to have any treatment, because it could possibly slow things down, but that’s not even guaranteed.
“If you go through chemotherapy, it just knocks you for six, and I want to stay as I am for as long as I possibly can.
“I might consider treatment down the line but everyone has been really supportive of me.”
To donate to Anthony’s fundraising drive, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Anthony-Smith63