By Craig Bowker (OU Sport and Fitness Student)
11 years ago, football saved my life, it was August bank holiday 2011 and work were playing a intercompany football competition between its three insurance brands. Express insurance, Kwik Fit Financial services and Ageas Insurance faced off in an unusually sunny stoke. I’d already been to the doctors and was awaiting a scan for what was a heavy/uncomfortable feeling down below. I was on a 6-week waiting list, and probably should not have played that weekend but sometimes we think we are invincible and to this day I don’t regret my decision to play.
After playing 2 matches something didn’t feel right, and I was in quite a bit of pain. There was a considerable feeling of discomfort and heaviness and a walk that John Wayne would be proud of. The next 48 hrs nothing had changed, and an emergency trip to A&E was required, this turned into a night on the ward and within another 24 hours an emergency operation to effectively save my life.
After the operation, I was prescribed 3 months of Chemotherapy and 5 years of monitoring after the diagnosis of testicular cancer. Touch wood since 2012 I’ve been clear of cancer and as of 2016 not had any follow ups. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. since my fight I’ve lost close family to the terrible disease.
When I was undergoing treatment, the support I received from Macmillan helped me financially and support through their nurses were second to none. Currently we are going through the biggest cost of living crisis since 2008, and the support that Macmillan are currently providing financially are helping patients maintain mortgage payments, keep the heating on, whilst off sick and recovering as well as other support.
To raise funds for Macmillan I’ll be walking the length of offa’s dyke, a 177mile trek that will be attempted in 5 days. To prepare for the challenge I will be doing some training walks, and anyone wishing to join me just needs to turn up on the day for moral support.
If you would like to donate, you can do so by following the Just giving link.
You can also visit my website here.
Event 1, Sunday the 16th of April 2023
Coffee and Cake Meet
Summit of Snowdon (1pm-Onwards)
It would be great to meet some of the OU sports team and OU sports students on the day.