Matthew Skins to take part in Great North Run after helping mum beat cancer
A KEEN runner who helped his mum beat cancer is taking on a half-marathon for charity.
Matthew Skins, 23, decided to take part in the race following his mother Marianne's treatment for ovarian cancer at Castle Hill Hospital.
The University of Westminster graduate will take on the Great North Run in September to raise money for East Yorkshire Cancer Research.
He said: "In January, my mum had a hysterectomy after troubles with acid indigestion and stomach pains.
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"Following tests post-op, she was informed that in the left ovary they had found cancer cells.
"Luckily, the doctors were confident they had removed the majority of the cancer, but she undertook six sessions of chemotherapy.
"During this difficult time for her and our family, we saw lots of highs and lows but she battled through and is now on the road to recovery."
Every year, nearly 7,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK.
Women often attribute early symptoms of the disease with other causes, making it difficult to detect.
Mr Skins said: "What astounded me is screening for ovarian cancer is still a work in progress and had she not have had a hysterectomy, she might not have caught the cancer so early.
"The facilities and support given at Castle Hill Hospital were phenomenal.
"Because of what my mum has been through and the fantastic care she received, I decided Yorkshire Cancer Research would be a fitting charity to raise money for."
Mr Skins is no stranger to running, having completed the Tromso Marathon, Norway, in July for Help For Heroes.
He is now continuing his training regime, running five or six times a week, to build back up to half marathon distance.
He said: "I completed the marathon in four hours, 19 minutes and 58 seconds and immediately looked for another challenge.
"The sense of achievement was massive for me, not only because I'd done something I'd always wanted to do but also because I'd raised nearly £500 for charity.
"Sport has always been a passion of mine and it renewed my desire to push myself."
Mr Skins will join 450 Yorkshire Cancer Research runners at the Great North Run, which raises £100,000 each year for the charity.
The Great North Run is held every year in Newcastle, finishing in the costal town of South Shields.
The course record is 59 minutes and 27 seconds.