A FATHER-of-two who beat cancer after ground-breaking treatment is gearing up for the Great Manchester Run.

And the funds he raises will go towards the city hospital which treated him.

Mark Blackburn, 49, of Foulridge, was first diag-nosed with lymphoma 20 years ago.

When the disease returned in 2006, he opted to take part in a clinical trial at the Christie Hospital.

And now, after getting the all-clear last October, he is preparing to join celebrities, including comedian Paddy McGuinness, New Order’s Peter Hook and several Coronation Street stars, in the 10k challenge to raise money for the hospital.

Clinical trial treatments aim to discover if a drug is safe, has side-effects, and works better than estab-lished treatments.

As part of his trial, Mark underwent three cycles of chemotherapy and three cycles of radio-immun-otherapy treatment.

Radio-immunotherapy, known as ‘magic bullet’, works by adding a radioactive mole-cule to patients’ antibodies to target the tumour. Christie’s-based Professor Tim Illidge designed the study.

Mark, who has been married to wife Karen for 25 years, said he was “mighty relieved” when he found out the treatment had been successful.

He said: “Gratitude and a huge sense of relief best express my current feelings.

“My consultant at the Christie, Professor John Radford, has been a huge source of strength through-out the whole process.”

Mark, who is dad to Iain and Sarah and grandad to one-year-old Joshua, wanted to raise money for a cause close to his heart.

He said: “I’m doing the Great Manchester Run because I want to do my bit and give a little back for all the support I’ve received.

“I really want to help support research in to lymphatic cancer and that’s where the money I raise will go to.

“My family, friends, work colleagues and Enterprise, the company I work for, have all been superb throughout everything – so this is for them too.”

The Bupa Great Manch-ester Run takes place on Sunday, May 16.