“[Supporting Prostate Cancer means] I can make a contribution, give back and show my gratitude for the treatment I’ve received from the NHS (who have been excellent) and hopefully to make my friends aware of prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 8 men.”
In 1983, Vincent took part in his first marathon after being inspired by Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonson crossing the finish line together at the inaugural London Marathon in 1981. This October, at the age of 72, he’ll be taking part in the London Marathon 2022, and when he crosses the finish line, he will have completed his 12th and potentially final marathon, as well as his first long distance run after 10 years since a hip replacement surgery.
What makes Vincent’s story all the more impressive, inspiring and moving, is that in December 2021, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and in April 2022, he underwent treatment. Nevertheless, this hasn’t deterred him! Shortly after recovering from his surgery, Vincent was in the gym at the start of July and training for October.
We had a chat with Vincent to learn more about his journey from a prostate cancer diagnosis to getting his running shoes back on.
With your first marathon in a long time coming up, how are you feeling?
“I’m feeling fine, and I have no great expectations. With luck I’m hoping to complete it in 6 or 6 and a half hours, which is lot slower than what I’ve done in the past, but time is irrelevant; it’s only you against the distance and it doesn’t matter what anybody else does.”
Have you always been an active person and enjoyed sports challenges?
“I’ve done marathon running on-and-off, but I was a rugby player originally and over the last ten years I’ve done much more long-distance cycling. I’m not actually a keen runner but when I watched the first London Marathon, I was so inspired, I saw the two guys pass the finish line and thought to myself, I’ve got to do that!”
What does supporting Prostate Cancer Research mean to you?
“It means I can make a contribution, give back and show my gratitude for the treatment I’ve received from the NHS (who have been excellent) and hopefully to make my friends aware of prostate cancer, which affects 1 in 8 men. It’s an opportunity to raise some money for an important cause along the way. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.”
Going from a prostate cancer diagnosis to treatment and then training for a marathon is a huge feat. Is there anything you’d like to share about your journey with anyone who might be affected by prostate cancer?
“I think that when you can, you’ve got to get back on your bike after this sort of thing and overcome it. You’ve got to set yourself a target and do it, there’s no other way in life. I actually entered for the London Marathon 2022 before I received my diagnosis after watching last year’s race on the tele. I thought to myself, go on Vincent, give it one more go! When I got a place and discovered I could run for Prostate Cancer Research, it was the perfect opportunity. More than that, I think having a goal and something to work towards post-surgery has most certainly helped me.”
At Prostate Cancer Research, we’re working towards a future free from the impact of prostate cancer by fundraising lifesaving clinical and social research across the UK and in the United States. We can’t do what we do without fundraisers like Vincent, who prove that it’s never too late to push your limits and show what you’re capable of for a great cause.
We can’t wait to see Vincent and all our other London Marathon runners cross the finish line in just under 5 weeks’ time.
If Vincent’s story has resonated with you, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with Prostate Cancer Research in a fundraising and non-fundraising capacity.
We have a range of great active events taking place across the United Kingdom which you can find on our Events page. However, if sports aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to fundraise; why not host a coffee morning or a supper club? Organise a charity football match or music night! If you’re looking for inspiration and support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Events & Community Assistant Ted who would be happy to help – you can email him at [email protected]
At PCR, we’re committed to putting patients at the centre of everything we do, which is why we’re working towards creating a platform, The Infopool, designed to educate and empower people affected by prostate cancer and give them the information they need to understand their diagnosis, and make better informed decisions about their treatment and management of side effects. We are collecting hundreds of real stories and experiences from people who have been affected by prostate cancer ahead of the launch in early 2023. If you have been affected by prostate cancer (or know of someone who has) you can help us by signing up and sharing your story today.