Cancer man finishes South Pole trek

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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A 58-year-old man who has battled three types of cancer is celebrating after reaching the end of a 138-mile (222km) charity trek to the South Pole.

Patrick McIntosh pushed himself to the limit to reach the landmark last night on the 103rd anniversary of the day Captain Robert Scott reached the Pole on his tragic 1912 expedition.

The chartered financial adviser, from Smallfield, Surrey, took on the expedition having undergone treatment for bowel, skin and prostate cancer, all within 13 months.

Mr McIntosh, travelling with polar guide Conrad Dickinson, who led Prince Harry and his team on Walking With The Wounded in 2013, wanted to use his trip as a hook to get people thinking and talking about their health and reacting quickly to any symptoms.

He hoped to prove that, with early diagnosis, it is possible to return to an invigorated life after cancer.

He said during the trek: “To reach the Pole on the 17th January we will have to complete more than 20km (12 miles) each day, which is seriously hard work. I hope I’m up to it.”

The two men were unsupported, meaning they carried all supplies and equipment themselves. Temperatures have been as low as minus 40C (minus 40F).

Since learning that he had cancer, Mr McIntosh had been shocked by statistics, including that bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, larger even than breast or prostate cancer, yet if diagnosed early nine out of 10 people can survive it. Also, most men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer have never had a PSA test to check for it.

Mr McIntosh’s granddaughter, Gemma Barker, had been communicating with him daily, and confirmed he had finished his journey.

She said: “They arrived at 7pm our time, they’re both fine, and Patrick sounds on cloud nine. He’s so excited to have arrived and is very happy with what he has achieved. They’ve already had a cup of tea.”

Money donated to Mr McIntosh’s cause will be distributed between his three chosen charities – Bowel Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer UK and the Voice Of The Listener And The Viewer. The aim is to raise £222,000.

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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