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Cancer Survivor Runs Half-marathon

Two-time cancer survivor Findlay Young's endeavour to run 24-half marathons in 24 consecutive days will not only raise funds for cancer research but it will also give// publicity to his employer.

Young ran the 18th of his 24, 21-kilometre long runs here Monday and took another step towards the noble cause.

"I am very grateful that my employer came forward and supported me in my endeavour to raise 100,000 pounds for Cancer Research UK," Young told IANS after the run.

"My run is to say 'Thank You' to my company and my doctors, who helped me to get rid of this disease."

ICI Dulux, where 32-year-old Young works as a management consultant, is sponsoring his endeavour. His journey started Sep 7 from Reykjavik in Iceland and his final run will be at Newcastle upon Tyne in England Oct 1.

Young, a resident of London, was first diagnosed with cancer in May 2003 and was treated with radioactive iodine and then had to undergo a surgery to remove the tumor from his thyroid.

But exactly two years later he was told that he has been infected with cancer again and had another surgery to remove his thyroid.

"Life has been tough for me till now but still I have emerged as a winner," said Young, referring to his victory over the deadly disease.

"It was difficult for me when I came to know that I have been diagnosed with cancer. I was not sure whether one could recover properly," he said.

But Young became optimistic and confident once the treatment started and he spoke to the doctors.

"Initially, I didn't know what to do and I was shattered completely. But my doctors stood by me again and helped me regain confidence to fight this disease again."

Young also gained inspiration from his idol, legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong, a six-time Tour de France winner.

"He (Armstrong) is an epitome of true spirit of life. The way he got rid of t he disease and then went on to script history proves that nothing is impossible for human beings," he said.

Armstrong was detected with testicular cancer in 1996 and was given a 50-50 chance of survival. But he recovered and then made history by winning the prestigious Tour de France title six times on the trot.

Spreading awareness about cancer is not just the only aim of Young. But he also wants to lend his support to fight against the pharmaceutical companies in reducing the prices of drugs used for cancer treatment.

"This is a rich man's disease and the cost of medicines are so high that it is beyond the reach of middleclass," he said.

"I along with Cancer Research UK raise funds to help other scientists in their research so that they can produce cheaper drugs for common people."


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