A student who was diagnosed with advanced cancer the day before his 19th birthday, is set to walk an incredible 240 miles for two cancer charities only a year after beginning his treatment.
Patrick Savage, 20, will walk from his university campus in London to The Christie hospital in Manchester where he was treated last year for Hodgkin's lymphoma - a type of blood cancer. He is raising funds for The Christie charity and Cancer Research UK.
Patrick, who is from Tarporley in Cheshire, will be supported on the trek from The London School of Economics (LSE) to the Withington-based hospital by 3 friends, Phil Saunes, Jorge Stevenson and Alex Smith (all aged 20) who will be completing the trek northwards from the capital with him starting on Tuesday 22 June. The group anticipate the walk will take them 7 days, before they arrive at The Christie for lunchtime on the 8th day.
Patrick knew something was wrong when he began to feel run down and found a lump on his neck. After returning home from university due to the COVID-19 lockdown he was referred to The Christie where he was given the news that he had cancer, the day before his birthday.
Patrick was treated at The Christie’s bespoke £12m Teenage and Young Adult unit which was part funded by The Christie charity.
After 6 months of treatment, during which he was unable to have any visitors due to COVID-19 restrictions, Patrick returned to university the same day he was discharged from The Christie to continue his studies in economics. He is now recovering and having regular check-ups.
Patrick, who has three siblings, Conor, 27, Roisin, 24, and Keira, 17, said: “It’s thanks to the amazing work done by charities such as Cancer Research UK and The Christie Charity that I am able to undertake this event. We’re looking forward to doing our bit to make sure everyone is able to receive the same incredible standard of treatment I did and to help continue the push to ensuring everyone who receives a cancer diagnosis gets to experience the unparalleled feeling of beating the disease.”
Patrick has also secured a significant amount of money from corporate sponsors. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, Boohoo, Peel Group, Regatta, The Steve Morgan Foundation and Together have all pledged to donate to Patrick’s trek.
Joshua Hughff, sporting events officer at The Christie charity, said: “For Patrick to be doing this for charity so soon after completing his treatment is nothing short of miraculous. We are incredibly grateful to him for undertaking such a huge trek to raise funds for us.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for us all. We know that many of our supporters and fundraisers have been struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as cancer patients. The last year has tested and challenged us in ways like never before. We have been hit hard. In fact we have lost a quarter of our usual income. This is a heavy blow and directly impacts on the support we can offer the hospital.
“We have never needed fundraisers like Patrick more. Efforts such as his mean we can continue to make a difference to the lives of those affected by cancer when they need us the most.”
Chris Doyle, relationship manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Patrick for his fantastic support. He is living proof of how research into cancer saves lives, and we are absolutely delighted that he has decided to take on this epic challenge to help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
“The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down and Cancer Research UK is predicting a staggering £300 million drop in income over the next three years which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk. But we will never stop. With over 40,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year in the North West, we are determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow and with the help of people like Patrick, we believe that together we will still beat cancer.
“We can’t thank Patrick and his friends enough for their support and want to wish him all the very best as they set out on this challenge. Every step they take will help our brilliant scientists and their life-saving work.”
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Its pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. Before the pandemic, it was able to spend over £30 million in the North West each year on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.