Defiant John Still Running Two Years On Thanks To Velindre

John Rees will take on the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run this weekend, two years after he was given a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis and just 12 months to live.

John, who is 62 and from Porthcawl will line up with thousands of runners at the 10K race on Sunday 22 May, despite giving up running all together six months after his initial diagnosis.

A tough period including the first COVID-19 lockdown and various stages of chemotherapy led to John having to give up running in September 2020. He had previously been very fit, competing in long-distance challenges including an IRONMAN triathlon on his 58th birthday.

Specialist cancer treatment from Velindre has helped to halt the growth of John’s cancer and make him feel stronger, so much so that he has been able to return to fitness. He decided to take on the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run to raise funds for the hospice and will be joined on the day by members of his family including his son Conor, Wife Sarah and Brother-in-Law Phil, who will run with him.

Conor Rees commented: “It really is fantastic to be running this race with Dad, the man is an enigma, and his mental strength and positive outlook on life and throughout this is awe inspiring. Additionally, I don’t think we would be doing this together today without the support of Velindre, the treatment and care they provide not only to Dad but all individuals, really is second to none. We can’t thank them enough.”

The Velindre Cancer Centre is a charity that provides specialist cancer services to 1.5 million people in south east Wales and beyond, helping to ensure the best possible support is offered to patients, their families and carers dealing with cancer.

Velindre are the lead charity partner of the Cardiff Bay Run for the second year running, and hundreds will be running to raise money for the Hospital of Hope on Sunday, including past and current patients.