Running in memory of dad, 38, who died of skin cancer

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Neil White was just 38 when he died from skin cancer. Now his family is raising funds for research into the condition. Catherine Scott reports.

A family has signed up to a cancer charity’s run this summer to raise vital funds in memory of their beloved father and husband.

Last August Catherine White lost her husband Neil aged 38 to skin cancer. Now Catherine, her two children, Jack Thomas, 11, and Isabelle Mae, nine, and brother-in-law to be, Garry Boon at Weston Park Cancer Charity’s Run in the Park. Catherine’s sister, Rebecca and her Mum are also taking part in the run.

Neil from Tickhill was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2003, just before he married Catherine, but after successful surgery and treatment at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, he was given the all clear and continued to live his life to the full. But in March 2015, after experiencing bad migraines, Neil visited the doctor who carried out further tests and confirmed the worst- the cancer had returned and this time it was terminal.   Neil was referred to Weston Park Hospital to begin treatment, but sadly five months later Neil died leaving behind his devastated family and friends.

Catherine, a Teaching Assistant at Tickhill Estfeld Primary School said “We just can’t thank the staff at Weston Park Hospital enough for all they did for us and Neil throughout his final months,” says Catherine, a teaching assistant. “We decided to all sign up for Run in the Park this July and support Weston Park Cancer Charity as I know it’s what Neil would have done in his quest to help others, even in the months before he passed away. Anything we can do to raise awareness of skin cancer is a positive step for us. If only one person learns something from our story then we will have at least accomplished something good from this terrible loss.

“We’re really looking forward to being involved in Run in the Park and being part of the fight against cancer locally.”

In conjunction with The University of Sheffield, Weston Park Cancer Charity has recently enabled the appointment of a clinical research fellow at Weston Park Hospital. The post has been filled by Dr Shobha Silva who will conduct a research study, which aims to develop a simple blood test for melanoma skin cancer patients which could be used in the future to identify patients who have suffered a relapse.

Run in the Park welcomes families, friends and colleagues to don their running vests in support of the cancer charity and is well attended by hospital staff, fundraisers and patients alike.Now into its eighth year, the cancer charity is encouraging participants of all ages and abilities to take on either the 3k fun run or 10k race as part of the event.

To sign up for Run in the Park and take on the 3k fun run or 10k race at Graves Park visit www.runinthepark.org.uk

To sponsor Rebecca visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rebecca-Humble1?utm_id=22