“On Friday 13th of November 1987 my parents world was shattered when they received the dreaded news that my short illness was in fact Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). I was transferred to St James’ hospital the very next day to begin my treatment. Being just 3 and a half years old, I wasn’t really aware of what was going on and my parents had to somehow explain why I now had to reside in hospital.
The first round of chemotherapy was successful and I went into remission, however upon receiving the second course my body went into toxic shock and I came down with septicaemia. I was very lucky to recover from septicaemia and completed my chemotherapy treatment along with a course of radiotherapy and went into remission again. I’m now in long term follow up and doing well with only having to visit Jimmy’s every few years.
My outlook on life has completely changed in recent years as I continue in long term follow up and I appreciate the battle I went though to be here today. I was never really a sporty person, at school I always managed to miss sports day due to appointments and generally was very lazy when it comes to sport. Back in 2010 I saw some local cycle racing in my home town of Beverley and I bought my first road bike and went out on my first short, painful cycle ride!
Fast forward 9 years I now compete in triathlons and am planning my biggest race yet. Over the last couple of years I’ve been taking on several activities to raise money for Candlelighters. I’ve completed several triathlons, a marathon, a half marathon and also held auctions of autographed sporting goods to raise extra funds. In June 2020 I’m taking on The Lakesman Ironman distance race. This will consist of a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile cycle ride and finally a 26.2 mile marathon run all of which will take place in and around Keswick in the Lake District.
I’m very appreciative of all the hard work everyone at the hospital and Candlelighters did for me and my family at such a difficult time. I’m now on a mission to find out what’s possible, if I can beat cancer what else can I do?!?!
I keep a vlog all about my (mis)adventures in triathlon to try and inspire others to think about what they’re capable of! I’m always happy to help and give advice about triathlon to anyone who may be interested in the sport.
If I can do it, why cant you! You’re more capable then you think you are!“
Written by Andrew Ferguson.
To follow Andrews Vlog, click HERE!