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13th September 2021

From swimming the River Mersey to pulling an articulated lorry

Cancer survivor and DATA-CAN patient member, Steve Hill, is giving back to the health services that have treated him.

DATA-CAN’s patient group member Steve Hill may have lived with cancer for over nine years, but that doesn’t stop him giving his all to fundraise for the hospitals and health services that have helped to treat him. Over the years Steve, from Cornwall, has raised thousands of pounds for health charities and has more fundraising activities planned.

Steve says, “When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, I was really worried about what lay ahead. But, despite ups and downs in my cancer journey, I was determined to lead an active life and give something back to the hospitals and people that treated me.”

After initially being treated with an operation to remove his prostate, Steve found out that his cancer had returned a year later so needed radiotherapy. A year later he had a further operation to remove his bladder. Steve’s latest diagnosis has shown that the cancer spread to his hip, spine and lymph nodes.

Despite numerous treatments, at a number of hospitals across the UK, Steve has dedicated his spare time to raising money through a variety of creative activities and events.

Less than a year after his operation to remove his bladder, Steve could be found pulling a six tonne articulated lorry over 200 metres to raise money for hospitals in London and Cornwall.

Swimming has also featured heavily in Steve’s fundraising, not only did he swim 13 miles down the River Fal from Truro to Falmouth, he has also swum across the River Mersey in Liverpool to raise funds – rejecting Gerry and the Pacemakers ‘ferry’.

Although living with cancer has its challenges, Steve isn’t giving up on his fundraising activities just yet. Later this year, he will be raising money for his GP surgery by sitting in a bath of baked beans. What’s more, he has persuaded his doctor to join him!

Alongside his fundraising, Steve also devotes time to the DATA-CAN patient and public involvement and engagement group and says,

“Through the course of my diagnosis and treatment I was treated at four different hospital trusts in the UK and discovered that my healthcare data was not always shared effectively between them. DATA-CAN’s work is so important in helping to find a way for the NHS to become much better at sharing health data to benefit cancer patients and others with serious conditions.”

Chris Carrigan, DATA-CAN’s patient and public involvement and engagement lead, said,

“DATA-CAN’s patient and public members bring a variety of skills, experience and expertise to the group and Steve’s fundraising activities really are an inspiration to us all. His experience as a cancer patient in numerous centres across the country is also really important, as it shows some of the challenges patients and clinicians can face when health data isn’t shared.”

Despite ups and downs in my cancer journey, I was determined to lead an active life and give something back to the hospitals and people that treated me.

Steve Hill – DATA-CAN Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Group member