TO thank all of the staff who helped his step father’s recovery, Carl Mellor has decided to raise £10,000 in one year for Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.

Last year Carl’s step-dad, Steve, was suddenly diagnosed with a form of cancer that is caused by the HPV virus.

It started in his tonsils but very quickly spread into his neck, and as a result prior to his treatment, had to have a number of teeth removed.

He also had to have a PEG feed fitted which acted as his main intake of food for over six months.

“He had to endure two 24 hour chemotherapy sessions and 35 sessions of intense radiotherapy at Weston Park,” said Carl.

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“Due to the side effects and low immune system, he spent the last four weeks as an inpatient.

“As a person he quickly went from an active and outgoing individual to someone who was quiet.

“On December 21, as a family, we all attended his last radiotherapy session and saw him ring the bell to signal the end of treatment.

“This was not just an emotional event for him, but it also showed me what fantastic work Weston Park do.

“Not only the nursing staff, but the support team at Weston Park Cancer Charity, who provided endless support to Steve and all the family.

“Even after the treatment and a positive outcome with his diagnosis they continue to support him, and are always at the end of the phone if needed.

“So in January I set the plan of raising money for Weston Park.

“I didn’t just want to do a one off event, so I set the target of £10,000 in 12 months.

“In April I arranged a race night and auction and we had more than 120 people attend and raised around £4,000.

“In May I organised a big raffle. Prizes were donated from over 50 companies which made it a great success and that raised more than £1,000.

“We held a 5-a-side football tournament which was kindly sponsored by parents and coaches of Dearne and District Football Club.

“My son even did a sponsored head shave which initially started as a £150 target, but he quickly raised £1,000.

“The current total is around £7,000 which I am shocked at considering the first event was only three months ago.

“I have lots of future plans, I will be doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks next month, but intend to run large parts of it and complete it within eight hours.

“The Yorkshire Marathon is in October and I’m hoping to organise a Santa dash in December.

“Smaller events are a fashion show at our local WMC, another raffle and another charity football match.

“To mark a year since his diagnosis, I’m hoping to do a big cake sale where family and friends of Steve hold one within their workplace, school or socially.”

Besides hosting his own fundraising activities, Carl also takes part in organised Weston Park events and has been involved in bucket collections at Hillsborough and Oakwell.

“To be nominated for this award was a massive surprise.

“The fundraising was not about personal recognition but to hopefully raise the awareness of Weston Park Cancer Charity.

“Luckily Steve has a strong network of family and friends, but the effects of cancer can isolate you and people will naturally be different around you.

“The cancer charity and support team were always there for him, giving him that moral support, being an ear to release any worries and stresses but more important allowing Steve to feel normal and be as much himself as possible.”