York business owner takes on the London Marathon
York business owner Dan Taylor is raising money for Cancer Research UK at this weekend’s London Marathon after having his stomach totally removed to prevent cancer, and later finding out that he did have the early stages of the disease.
Back in 2011 Dan, founder of web development company See Green in Clifton Moor, discovered that he carried the mutant CDH1/HDGC gene that meant he had an 80 per cent chance of developing aggressive stomach cancer, and that endoscopies to keep an eye on him could easily miss the cancer, even if it was there.
So Dan made the decision to have his stomach totally removed in a life-changing six-hour operation that took place in June 2012. Tests soon revealed that Dan did already have the early stages of stomach cancer – making the decision even better made.
Now nearly five years on from the operation, Dan has challenged himself to take on the London Marathon to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Dan said: “I had always wanted to run a marathon, but thought I had probably missed my chance, since after the operation I couldn’t imagine myself ever being in good enough shape. But a year after the surgery I started exercising, and gradually began to feel I might be able to manage longer runs.
“Ever since my operation I have been working with the Cancer Research UK team looking into CDH1/HDGC at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.
“Stomach cancer caused by this mutation is so rare that it doesn’t attract the funding of cancers which affect thousands rather than tens or hundreds, but as the father of two little girls – Abigail is now nine, and Edith is five – who may one day find they are carriers themselves – it is important to me, which is why I am running the London Marathon to support Cancer Research UK.
“I have had to up my calorie intake from 2500 to 4000 per day while training. In the morning I’ll have a cereal bar and a bag of crisps, which for me is a healthy breakfast, followed by a sandwich for lunch, more crisps and a chocolate bar, cheese and biscuits in the late afternoon and a full meat and veg dinner or a curry; luckily, since I love a curry, spice doesn’t upset me. I can drink a little milk, and I also like a beer and orange juice.
“Only 40 or 50 people affected with my condition have chosen to have a gastrectomy, others preferring not to have the op but to be closely monitored for early symptoms of stomach cancer, in which advances have been made. The main reason I am running is to show others who have had the surgery and may feel it has limited their options that it is not the end of normal life. With motivation, they can do anything they really want.”
To find out more about Dan’s story, and to donate to Cancer Research UK, visit www.rundan.uk. You can also text DANT56 followed by your amount to 70070.