A MAN who battled throat cancer is preparing for a charity fundraiser of the grandest scale.
Cantley-based Tony Sheppeck, 51, and his step-daughter Kim Davies, 17, are getting ready to do a four-day, 50-mile trek across the Grand Canyon in a bid to raise £5,000 for the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, who Tony credits with saving his life.
The security firm owner found a lump on his neck in February 2010 and was soon diagnosed with cancer following a tonsillectomy at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
He was then transferred to Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield for chemotherapy and seven weeks of radiotherapy, which left 50 per cent of his saliva glands damaged.
The treatment meant Mr Sheppeck now suffers problems with eating and swallowing and has to carry a bottle of water everywhere with him to help with the pain.
Mr Sheppeck, who worked as a physical training instructor in the Army for ten years, said: “I cannot praise the commitment of all the staff at Weston Park Hospital enough, and the challenge I’m embarking on is essentially to say thank you for the outstanding treatment I received whilst completely in their hands.
“I also want to prove to myself that I have overcome the cancer and recovered enough to take on something of this nature.
“I still experience daily challenges as a result of the cancer treatment, but I am keen to repay the kindness I experienced during my treatment, whilst contributing to the ever increasing need for funds for researching a cure for cancer.”
The father and step-daughter duo have already raised thousands towards their target by hosting a dress down day at Hall Cross School, where Kimberley is a student and through bucket collections at Doncaster Racecourse.
Mr Sheppeck has also convinced owners at hairdressers Salon 15 to sell strawberries and ice cream during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with all proceeds going to the charity.
He added: “By raising money for a charity like Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, we are able to see directly where the money goes and how it can directly benefit those who need it. I’m really grateful for the support we’re getting from the community, which will hopefully see us increase the total we can raise for this fantastic cause.”
Sarah Cross, fundraising assistant at Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, said: “We really admire Tony for his determination to overcome his cancer treatment by taking part in this amazing fundraising and physical challenge.
“We wish Tony and Kimberley the very best of luck.”
The Grand Canyon in Arizona, America, is a mile deep and 18 miles long at its largest points, with the Colorado River flowing through the middle.
To support Tony and Kimberley in their fundraising, please visit www.justgiving.com/tony-kim.