Published on: 23 November 2023

A monthly meet up is under way to bring together cancer patients and their loved ones to boost both spirits and their step count.

The 5k Your Way Move Against Cancer event is being held alongside the Silksworth ParkRun session on the last Saturday of each month.

Cancer patients and their relatives are all invited to get involved with the aim of getting them moving and chatting. It is part of a national initiative, backed by Move Against Cancer.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is leading on the Wearside gathering.

Colleagues from STSFT and supporters will be on hand to meet people at the 5k Your Way event..jpeg

Colleagues from STSFT and supporters will be on hand to meet people at the 5k Your Way event.

Alice Hartley is a Consultant Urological Surgeon based at Sunderland Royal Hospital. She has been working alongside other team members to launch the meet up.

They have helped fund it through sponsorship raised through the Great North Run.

Team members Consultant Urologist Phil Keegan, Urology Cancer Care Co-ordinator Alex Harris and Urology Macmillan Cancer Nurse Specialist Gayle Adams were joined by retired Consultant Urologist Trevor Armitage as they took part in the September half-marathon.

Alice, who recently became a Clinical Champion for Prostate Cancer UK, said:

"Anyone who has been affected by cancer is welcome, including any relatives and their friends. 

"They can walk it, jog it, whatever they’re comfortable with, or even if they just want to turn up and have a coffee and cheer others along, they would be very welcome.

"The whole idea behind the 5K Your Way charity is to encourage patients with cancer to exercise to help keep their hearts and bones strong, as well as the added benefits of the social interaction. 

"We know that taking exercise, talking, getting fresh air and some time outdoors can make people feel so much better.

"My own specialist area is Urology, so we treat a lot of patients with prostate cancer in our team. Among the treatments we offer is a hormone therapy, where men will experience something like the menopause.

"That can have an impact on their bones. It’s really important for them to keep up low impact exercise and walking and running can be part of that.

"As a team, we’ve already been along to the Silksworth event to check it out and we know there’s already a good community feel around it. We put the first 5k Your Way event to the test October and we are looking forward to welcoming more people again this weekend.

"Anyone can come down and join us, not just those being seen by our department. There’ll be a friendly face and you know you’ll be alongside people who are having or have had similar experiences."

The Trust’s 5K Your Way team will be dressed in blue hoodies and will meet at 8.45am, 15 minutes before the start of the ParkRun.

Following the event this Saturday, November 26, the last of this year will be Saturday, December 30.

Details about the event can be found by clicking here.

Information about how to donate to the Urology team’s charity fund are available by clicking here.