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Monday Motivation: David Fletcher 5 x Cancer Survivor soon to be LCW 2017 Athlete

March 13th, 2017 | by Annie Lewis
Monday Motivation: David Fletcher 5 x Cancer Survivor soon to be LCW 2017 Athlete
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Meet David Fletcher…
5 x Cancer Survivor and Long Course 2017 Triathlete – Sorry what was your excuse again?
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David Fletcher a HGV driver from Hull, East Yorkshire has beaten Cancer 5 times in under 20 years, and this year he is set to also beat Long Course Weekend 2017. His story is about to make you throw all your excuses out the window.

David’s Story:
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In 1999 at the young age of 21, David’s life, little did he know was about to change. With a lump on his neck the size of an egg was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, this meant a 6 month Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy treatment and an operation to remove it.

8 years later, almost unable to breath due to a pain in his stomach, David was rushed to hospital and the next 24 hours were critical for him.
With an 11 cm tumour wrapped around David’s right Kidney that had caused a blood clot, his life was now in threat. David’s diagnosis was Germ Cell Cancer, which originally started in the testicle – this resulted in 4 months of intensive Chemotherapy (and a nerve-racking operation for him, his family and his surgeons).

Things were on the up, 2013 started amazingly for David, he organised a charity bike ride for Cancer Research, a charity which by now was very close to his heart, raising a staggering £13,000.
With 14 members of David’s family and friends, in August 2013 they would cover 500 miles from Landsend to Hull in 8 days!
David said that the reception they received upon the finish line was one of the greatest experiences of his life!

After that achievement in the August of 2013 in the November David noticed a scratch on his cheek that would not heal. He headed to a plastic surgeon under the impression the appointment would be 20 minutes. After looking at David’s cheek the surgeon informed him that the scratch was in actual fact Skin Cancer.
Due to David’s unfortunate history of Cancer it was removed within the hour and he was back on the M62 in his truck!

David had his fair share of challenges and undefeated 2015 stepped up to challenge David again
In January 2015, David discovered a lump on his right testicle, he took a trip to his oncologist who stated that David may be being paranoid but due to his history with Cancer they would scan it to be safe.
Within two weeks David had to have his right testicle removed and with another bout of Chemotherapy to insure that the testicular Cancer wouldn’t come back.

Unwilling to be beaten down David set a goal, 19 days after Chemotherapy he set himself a huge challenge to run his local 10 mile race, without having trained for 3 months, he had arranged for family to be stood at the half way point in case he was unable to finish, David saw his sister, grabbed a drink and said he would see her at the finish line! He crossed the finish line in 1 hour and 16 minutes. That April David completed his first marathon in 3 hours and 26 minutes.
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David had been fit for 11 months. January came and he completed the same 10k in 1 hour and 3 minutes and had set himself a target of running a marathon in 3 hours 5 minutes that April, things were on the up for David and this year seemed to be starting amazing!
February saw David’s blood tests showing that his tumour markers had returned.
David’s Germ Cell Cancer had returned this resulted in David having, his blood cells harvested, a 12 week stint on Chemotherapy and two operations. His last operation was the 4th of October 2016..this got him thinking…his local 10k was on the 30th of October, could he get round without training at all for 8 months oh and battling Cancer during that 8 months?
David’s wife insisted he was a mad man, but knew her husband wouldn’t listen. He craved to feel normal again.
Miraculously David finished the 10k in 56 minutes with his brother Rob and Brother-in-law Andy.

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November came and David’s bloods were back to normal, which meant his life could also return to normal, oh and that he could also purchase a new running top…

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Over the past few years David has done 4 Olympic Distance Triathlons, a Marathon, 3 Half Marathons, 2 Ten Mile Races and a dozen 10k’s! He has shown himself his capabilities and all he wants to do is push further.
David saw the Long Course Weekend highlights televised and knew that had to be his next challenge when he saw what the event entailed and the atmosphere that went with it. Unable to compete in 2016 due to his diagnosis, David was registered for Long Course Weekend Wales 2017 this was his ultimate goal to aim towards.
David obviously has a passion for sporting events, Triathlons, and a range or running events his passion was only rewarded when he was told in 2009 that if he hadn’t of been so healthy his blood clot and tumour would of killed him.

Throughout his experiences David has learned to make the most of his life and enjoy these experiences. Telling him self when racing or even just having a bad day, after what he has been through he can get through anything!

David seems to be a relaxed yet motivated person and his approach to training and events differs from many peoples, his year doesn’t seem to be planned strategically around triathlon training and events, David’s description of his training regime highlights the enjoyment he has for it. Here is how he described his training to us:

“‘So what is your training plan and how much do you do?’ I get asked this quite a lot and my answer is ‘just a bit of chemo then I run’ No, seriously i do around 4-5 hours a week maybe 7 hours a week in the summer, I just like to do what I fancy. I don’t like to put pressure on myself and that is why I like triathlon training, because when I have a spare hour I get to chose, Swim? Bike? Or Run…What do I fancy today?”

David’s laid back positive approach to triathlon training is   nspiring and motivational, he believes anyone could do a triathlon, do a short distance with a mountain bike, you don’t need to be head to tow in Lycra. Just enjoy yourself.

So yes that’s us getting off the sofa, making memories, setting goals and achieving goals.
Make sure you give David and extra loud ‘WOOOO’ if you spot him during Long Course Weekend 2017.

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