Cancer-stricken Solihull man needs YOUR help to take part in Arctic fundraising trek - The Solihull Observer

Cancer-stricken Solihull man needs YOUR help to take part in Arctic fundraising trek

Solihull Editorial 12th Dec, 2016   0

AN INSPIRATIONAL Solihull man, who lost his father and both grandfathers to cancer, is hoping to tackle a charity expedition to the Arctic – just weeks after being diagnosed with testicular cancer himself.

Jack Williams, who works at Cotswold Outdoors in Solihull, is just days away from securing his spot as one of two people from the UK on the 300km Fjällräven Polar trek through the Arctic wilderness to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research.

After losing both his grandfathers to cancer and beloved father to bowel cancer, former Solihull School pupil Jack stumbled across the Fjällräven Polar and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to raise vital cash for the charity, which funds research into more than 200 different types of cancer.

But 28-year-old was struck with bad news of his own when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.




Having undergone a biopsy and removal of a 4cm tumour in his testicle six weeks ago, a further CT scan has revealed the cancer may have spread to a lymph node in Jack’s stomach – meaning he may require chemotherapy.

But rather than let this stop him, Jack has been spurred on to secure his place on the expedition.


Outdoors-loving Jack Williams will not let his cancer diagnosis stop him. s

Outdoors-loving Jack Williams will not let his cancer diagnosis stop him. s

He said: “I’ve always been a positive person so I’m using my cancer to fuel my ambition.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game until I receive the results from my latest tests but I’m hopeful I’m going to be fighting fit by April and ready to take on this challenge.

“I am lucky my cancer was caught so early, but even if it has moved then it is Stage One and I’m still in a curable condition.

“If I’d got testicular cancer 40 years ago I would have had a less than five per cent chance of survival, but now its more the 95 per cent – highlighting how important the work research charities is to change the outcomes of the disease.”

To qualify for the expedition, Jack has gone up against would-be explorers from across the world to compete for online votes.

And with nearly 9,000 votes he is top of the UK table and within touching distance of securing his place on the trek – travelling from Norway to Sweeden on dog sled in temperatures as cold as minus 30 degrees.

But for Jack the challenge is just one to add to a long list of expeditions – including the Himalayas and Sahara Desert.

Jack Williams on one of his previous adventures. s

Jack Williams on one of his previous adventures. s

He said: “I’ve always been a bit of an adventurer.

“While I was at Solihull School, I regularly took part in the various shooting and sailing expeditions, and was even a cadet.

“A few years ago I also arranged and completed the three peaks challenge – raising more than £10,000 for various cancer charities.”

With just days to go until voting closes at 10am on Thursday morning (December 15) Jack 6,400 votes ahead of his closest rival. But he doesn’t want to throw the opportunity of a lifetime away and become complacent.

“The response online has really taken me by surprise – people telling me their cancer stories and saying how inspirational I have been in encouraging them to get out there and use the time some of them have left,” Jack explained.

“It’s been heavy at times and it’s strange people to think of me as inspiring, but I’m getting to used it.

“I suppose I want to encourage people to do what they love – experiencing that rush and feeling of being alive when someone has told you you have a disease that will kill you.”

Visit polar.fjallraven.com to vote for Jack and help him secure a place on the Fjällräven Polar trek.

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