CANCER survivor Gary Broughton is to step out along Bognor Regis seafront to help future patients.
Gary is undertaking a near 30-mile walk to the town just two months after he had a tumour removed from his left thigh.
He will start at Brighton Pier at 9am on June 19 and aims to finish at Bognor Regis Pier about 6pm.
He said: “I’m confident I can do the walk. I’m looking forward to it and I can’t wait to do it.
“My doctor says I will be fine as long as I take the walk easily.
“I want to raise funds for Cancer Research UK so other people with cancer can benefit from treatment like I have.”
Gary, 46, of West Street, hopes to raise at least £500. He has received a lot of support from shops and other businesses around the town centre.
He expects to take his friend’s Staffie cross, Roxy, with him but will see how her paws stand up to the shingle along the way. He will go on a test walk next week.
About three years ago, he completed a walk from Brighton Pier to the Butlin’s day visitors’ entrance in West Street with his former colleagues in the holiday company.
This was in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and covered 28.8 miles.
Gary’s life was threatened to be turned upside down earlier this year. He became concerned about the growth and look of one of the spots on his left thigh.
His GP shared his concern and referred him to the dermatology department at Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital last February.
He underwent a biospy and the presence of a tumour saw Gary having an operation at St Richard’s Hospital on April 11 under local anaesthetic.
The surgeon removed both spots and left Gary with a six inch scar.
“I had to wait seven weeks before being told the tumour was benign,” said Gary. “The report was with the consultant on May 10 but he was on holiday and I had to wait to find out the result.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had a tumour. I suffer from depression and anxiety and so you can imagine what it was like for me.
“But I would rather have a six inch scar and still have my life.”
Gary hopes his rapid recovery from his health scare is another sign of an upturn in his life.
He lost his job at Butlin’s as a restaurant team member and eventually ended up briefly sleeping under Bognor Regis Pier.
He was looked after by Bognor Housing Trust at one of its properties, in Glamis Street, and credits its staff with stabilising his life.
They found his current bedsit in West Street and Gary has just signed a five-year contract with a modelling agency which he hopes will enable him to get on the property ladder.
His walk can be backed at: www.fundraise.cancerresearch.uk.org/page/garys-giving-page99.