I will be running the Richmond Half Marathon on Sunday 17th April in aid of cancer charity, Melanoma UK.

Most of us are aware that 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime. But most people aren't aware that 1 in 36 UK males and 1 in 47 UK females will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in their lifetime. My uncle Bob became part of that statistic, and has stage 4 metastatic melanoma cancer.

Ten years after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, Bob Driver was given the all clear but in July 2020, following pains in his right side and chest, Bob went for a CT scan where tumours were found in his liver, pancreas and right lung. It's been a difficult 18 months, full of scans and scares, but against all odds, Bob is still here. This is largely due to the recent medical advancements in melanoma treatment.

Malignant melanoma is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer, with around 42 people being diagnosed every day. Melanoma appears in many forms and, as my uncle found, can reappear. Around 110,300 people were living with malignant melanoma in the UK in 2010.

The charity I am raising money for is Melanoma UK, which has helped Bob massively, connecting him with a Consultant Medical Oncologist and providing support for Bob, his wife and two kids.

Melanoma UK aims to:
- Provide patient support and assist in the awareness of the condition of malignant melanoma.

- Provide funds for vital research to prolong and preserve our patients' quality of life.

- Educate and heighten awareness of the dangers of melanoma.

It's important to raise awareness of this cancer and the charity that supports so many patients and their families during the very difficult times faced upon diagnosis. For more information on Melanoma UK, please visit https://www.melanomauk.org.uk/mission-vision-values

Jake Young