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Ribchester climber fighting incurable cancer mounts charity mission
A WELL-known climber who is fighting incurable cancer has volunteered to take part in clinical trials to try and help people in the future John Ellison, from Ribchester, was diagnosed with an aggressive and advanced cancer in October last year.
The father-of-one, 48, said he felt like he had been ‘hit with a sledgehammer’ when he was told he had advanced cancer of the prostate and had also developed secondary tumours throughout his body which could not be cured.
John, who worked as a surveyor, has been a keen sportsman and climber all his life. He has used his position as an international climbing judge to rally support and fundraising from the climbing community.
Among those to pledge their backing is celebrated mountaineer Chris Bonington.
He said he had been amazed by the support for his Justgiving page which he set up in March, raising more than £16,000 for Cancer Research UK.
John, whose mother died of breast cancer when he was aged 23, said: “To say this came as a shock would be an understatement but I knew straight away I had to take everything on board and deal with it in the only way I know how and that was to be strong not only for myself but also for the people I love.”
When he developed an ache in his right leg last autumn, he assumed it was nothing serious. John was sent by his GP to Blackburn Hospital for a gamma scan and an MRI. The team treating John in Blackburn claimed to have never seen anyone with such advanced cancer at his age.
Following the shock news, John vowed to make the most of every day and has said he would take part in clinical trials to try to try and help other sufferers.
He is now aiming to raise even more for charity and is planning fundraising events with the climbing community throughout this year.
He is also supported by 17-year-old daughter Charlotte, who shares his love of climbing and competes internationally.
Thanks to John’s many climbing pals across the world, his Justgiving page soon attracted donations from far and wide.
John said: “Being told I had advanced cancer and there was no cure was completely devastating and utterly shocking, but I just want to make the most of every day.”