Chris Carberry, a 21-year-old from St Helens who lost a leg to bone cancer last year and had a third of his lung removed in July after his cancer returned has set himself the huge challenge of trekking Hadrian’s Wall this weekend (30 September-1 October) alongside 30 of his family and friends.
Together they hope to raise £4,000 in sponsorship which will be split between the children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent, and Chris’s fund for new prosthetic legs that will help him continue playing the sports that he loves.
Chris will tackle a 40-mile course on a hand bike, as he’s currently experiencing pain in his stump, and hopes to inspire other young cancer patients and survivors those with disabilities to get active by sharing his story.
Sport-mad Chris was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2015 aged 19 and intensive chemotherapy and immunotherapy followed. But instead of shrinking it, the tumour actually grew, and in April 2016 he made the difficult decision to have his leg amputated.
After further treatment he got the all clear in January this year and started planning the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge. But in July, a routine scan found a shadow on Chris’s lung. The cancer had spread and a third of his lung was removed. Despite experiencing breathlessness Chris was undeterred, and he was back in training for his challenge just weeks later.
Chris’s mum, Sarah Carberry, who is also taking part in the walk alongside his dad Stephen and his sisters Clare and Laura, comments:
“While Chris was in hospital recovering from his lung operation, he declared: ‘I’m still going to do Hadrian’s Wall mum’. For me, that moment summed up his entire battle with cancer - he’s determined to not let anything beat him.”
Chris and his family are supported by CLIC Sargent Support Worker Rachel Farrington-Allen who has provided emotional support and financial assistance throughout their ordeal.
Chris is now keen to give back and became an ambassador for the charity in May this year. Since then he has spoken at major fundraising events and starred in a campaign aimed at challenging attitudes towards young patients. He has also set up his own blog called The Next Step For Chris to help other young people facing cancer.
“I love sport and deciding to have my leg amputated was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. But it was literally my leg or my life, and I chose life.
“Now I’m keen to give back to CLIC Sargent and get the prosthetics I need, which you can’t get on the NHS, so that I can run again, play golf properly, and ski.
“Yes, life is different now but I want to show other people who have been through the same thing I have that you can still push and challenge yourself. Life goes on.”
To sponsor Chris please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/tnsfc-hadrians-wall-charity-walk
Find Chris’s blog at: www.chriscarberry.co.uk
For more information, an interview or images, please contact Claire Monger on 020 8752 2938 or firstname.lastname@example.org