Paul on keeping active

Paul on a walk in a field with the sun setting in the background
Paul on a walk in a field with the sun setting in the background

Paul relies on a PEG feeding tube, after treatment for throat cancer left him unable to swallow. However, Paul continues to keep active, and despite the limitations of his health, he’s found physical activity hugely helpful in his recovery.

Paul's story

I had always admired the efforts of the runners in the Great North Run on the television and it looked fun. I decided this would be a great way to build my strength and raise money to repay in some small way the help I have been given, as well as showing the world that life goes on after cancer.

When I announced I wanted to do the Great North Run, Cathryn [my Macmillan dietitian] got in touch with one of the British Olympic team trainers to ask for dietary advice. I thought that was fantastic. They were out at the Olympics in Beijing at the time, so she really did pull out all the stops for me.

The PEG [feeding tube] allowed me to swim (and scuba dive) as part of my training. My dietician organised a rucksack that held my feeding pump so that I could take on water during the run and not dehydrate. As I have no saliva glands and a very dry mouth, I experimented with sprays.

I needed more energy to do the run, so Cathryn and I worked out a special diet to put through my tube. And it was good for me because it helped me get a lot stronger. I think giving is very rewarding, but I got a lot back from it as well.   

Without the help of Cathryn and the rest of the MacMillan team, there’s no way I would have finished the Great North Run.

Watch: all about Paul's experiences

Watch: all about Paul's experiences