Plumber, 24, who thought he had a strained neck muscle diagnosed with cancer

A plumber who turned to Deep Heat to try and ease what he thought was a strained neck was diagnosed with cancer.

By Fiona Thompson
Monday, 4th January 2021, 4:22 pm
Updated Monday, 4th January 2021, 4:22 pm

Lewis Turnbull, 24, from South Shields, was sent by his GP to A&E at South Tyneside District Hospital after asking about the lump, with tests revealing it was Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer.

Since his July diagnosis, he has undergone 10 rounds of chemotherapy given at Sunderland Royal to tackle the tumour and another in his chest.

As he awaits the results of his latest scans – with up to 12 doses of treatment needed along with possible radiotherapy – his partner Philippa Gibbons has launched a campaign to help save the lives of others.

Philippa Gibbons and her boyfriend Lewis Turnbull as he was in hospital for treatment.

The make-up artist, who is based at the Amy Bam Studio in Sunderland city centre, has set herself a goal to run 50 miles as 2021 begins to raise funds and spread the message about its symptoms – in Lewis’ case they included itchy legs and night sweats.

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The cash will support charity Lymphoma Action, with her appeal following a fundraiser by Lewis’ dad David, who shaved off his hair for another charity.

Philippa, 22, from East Boldon, said: “When they told us, it was a shock, we didn’t think it would be that at all.

Lewis Turnbull has been treated for his cancer through South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.

"This came during the pandemic as well, so we couldn’t be with him during his chemo, we had to wait outside or in the cafe if we were allowed.

"It’s been hard, but he’s done really well, amazingly well.

"I’ve been really into fitness, running and the gym for the last two years and I just thought Lewi has been through so much, I want to push myself.

“I know it will be nothing compared to what he’s been through, but I wanted to do something to help a charity.

The couple say they have been overwhelmed by the support they have been given since Lewis was told he had Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma.

"I also wanted to raise awareness, because not many people know about the symptoms.

"We thought he had a pulled muscle and were rubbing Deep Heat into it, but it was a tumour.”

She added her praise to his family for their support and for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust for the care Lewis has been shown during his treatment.

Philippa Gibbons and Lewis Turnbull, who have been a couple for six years, are working to raise awareness of Hodgkin Lymphoma since his diagnosis.

Donations can be made via while more information can be found through

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