A skin cancer patient who has had six operations over the last 12 months is preparing to take on a 211-mile walking challenge later this year. Martyn Wells, who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in March last year, has committed himself to walking the length of the Severn Way path in just 10 days, starting September 1, 2018.
The 49-year-old IT Director at Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, has recently been told he will not need another check-up for three months after tests showed significant improvement. Now he is aiming to complete the arduous walking challenge in order to heighten public awareness about melanoma, as well as raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Despite admitting he is nervous in the early stages of training, Martyn is determined to see it through and has already received some sound advice from famous explorer and TV survival show host, Ed Stafford.
He said: “At the start of the year I was in bad shape, I think the stress of the last 12 months meant that my fitness levels were not front of mind. As the New Year came around and things started to improve with my malignant melanoma, I decided that something had to change so I set myself this challenge. My wife put out a request for advice on long distance walking on social media and Ed Stafford, who I am a big fan of, replied recommending I use looped stitch socks and apply Vaseline to my feet daily. He is one of the most famous explorers on the planet and the fact he took the time to hear my story and offer real, practical advice was very inspiring.”
Martyn, who returned to work at the end of 2017, will be supported on his journey by the Wright Hassall Charitable Trust. He said: “The team at Wright Hassall have been incredible in terms of their support and allowing me to settle back in at work. “Their support meant so much to me in dark times.”
Ultimately, the aim for Martyn is to raise awareness of melanoma, raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and to thank all of those who have helped him so far. He said: “Public awareness of melanoma is still poor, yet this illness can spread and become critical very quickly. “Attitudes towards using high factor suncream still need to change in the UK, not just by the holidaying public but by those who spend time at work or at leisure outside. Fortunately for me, Macmillan was there when I needed support and advice coming to terms with cancer. A life with cancer is still a life after all; now it’s my turn to give something back which is why I am going to walk the Severn Way.”
For more information and to donate to Martyn’s journey, visit https://www.severnway2018.com/