A keen Ribble Valley climber diagnosed with terminal cancer has raised a staggering £170,000 after setting up his own charity earlier this year.
John Ellison (50), of Ribchester, has used his love of the sport to help him drum up funds for the cause Climbers Against Cancer (CAC).
After being told in October 2011 that he had advanced cancer of the prostate and had also developed secondary tumours throughout his body which could not be cured, John spent the first few months visiting family and learning how to deal with the news.
He said: “We raised £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and on the back of that I realised that we could do much more.
“I thought it was a kind of chicken and egg situation – if we have a cure then we don’t really need Macmillan.
“I started raising money for Cancer Research, raising £17,500. Then, in the September I looked around me and thought of the CAC idea and whoever I spoke to, I felt there was all positivity, no negativity.”
John has been a keen sportsman and climber all his life. He used his position as an international climbing judge to rally support and fund-raising from the climbing community for Climbers Against Cancer, which was launched in January. In less than 12 months, he has managed to raise £170,000.
As well as receiving regular treatment for his condition, he has also been busy giving talks to cancer support groups on local radio and giving press interviews.
He said: “It’s not really me to put myself out into the spotlight, but if I can help others that would be fantastic. The reaction towards CAC was such that in three months it had reached reached all over the world – it went global!
“I am truly overwhelmed by the success of the charity on such an international scale and honoured to be able to help so many people around the world who are affected by cancer. To have raised over £150,000 in less than 12 months shows the character of the climbing community and I feel we have only just scratched the surface so far.
“In the future I would hope that the charity would continue to grow as we are all ‘climbers’ in a metaphorical sense and that we can continue to raise awareness on a global scale.”
He added: “I have always enjoyed life – living every day as it comes. It is fortunate that I am who I am, personality-wise. Some people would find it really difficult to deal with the situation I am in, but I think my positive outlook on life really helps me.”
Anyone wishing to support John’s charity is asked to log onto http://www.climbersagainstcancer.org/