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Cancer campaign dad talks to MPs
10:00am Wednesday 23rd May 2012 in Local
AN UPPER Gornal dad was invited to speak at a parliamentary reception to mark the 25th anniversary of Bowel Cancer UK, following his fundraising efforts for the cause.
Andy Essom, from Quarry Brow, has been raising awareness for the UK’s second biggest killer over the last few months, after his 66-year-old dad, Fred, was diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease in September last year.
Fred’s symptoms were not immediately recognised and he has undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.
But since receiving the devastating news, Andy has thrown himself into raising awareness, taking to social networking sites to spread theword and running marathons to raise much-needed funds.
The 42 year-old dad-of-three already has three marathons under his belt – London, Paris and Wolverhampton– and is set to get his running shoes out again this weekend as he takes part in the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday – and has already smashed his £1k target and is well on his way to raising £2,000.
Following his prolific social networking, Andy was contacted by Bowel Cancer UK and invited to give a talk at a reception at Parliament, attended by MPs, peers and TV stars.
Andy, a technical sales manager, said: “It was a bit daunting, but it was a real privilege to be asked. I got to meet a lot of people from the charity and it was really good to be able to raise the profile of bowel cancer.
When you talk to people it’s amazing how many people have similar stories to mine.”
Andy was also supported at the event by Dudley North MP Ian Austin, who also pledged his support for the cause.
Ian Austin MP said: “Andy is a great guy and I’m full of admiration for what he is doing. His dad’s illness has motivated him to raise funds and campaign for changes so that other families do not have to face what he and his relatives are going through.
“I want everyone reading this to support Andy’s run.”
To sponsor Andy visit justgiving.com/andy-essom.