Helping each other, every step of the way

Richard Crossland taking a breather in training
Richard Crossland taking a breather in training

Having fought off cancer three times in as many years, Richard Crossland is about to start a 270-mile walking challenge to say “thank you” for the help he and his family have received.

The Todmorden Cricket Club stalwart, who is 67, has been cared for by surgeons, chemotherapy nurses and colorectal special nurses at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and it has now been nine months since a reoccurrence.

As well as achieving a personal goal when he walks the Pennine Way between May 18 and June 7, he will be raising money for the trust’s colorectal unit and Macmillan unit, and also the Rays of Hope at St James’ Hospital in Leeds which funds research into creating a vaccine for liver cancer. He hopes to raise £5,000 from the challenge.

He said: “I would like to thank all the dedicated professionals for their absolute excellence and their power of positive thought, self-belief and support throughout. This walk is just a little way of giving something back to the cancer units for all that they have done for me, my wife and our family.”

Initially diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in June 2009, he received chemotherapy and liver surgery to remove 12 secondary tumours. Six months later, further scans revealed the disease had returned in his bowel, liver and lungs. Richard had further intensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment followed by surgery to remove a major part of his bowel, and 20 per cent of his lung and more liver surgery. In early 2012, scans confirmed that the liver tumour was back and another successful operation was undertaken.

For the walk, Richard has a good team behind him, including his family, headed by wife Lesley, and friend Brian Windle, who has helped map out a training programme for Richard and will be walking with him each step of the way.

Everything is now in place for the walk to begin at Edale in Derbyshire on May 18.