A cancer survivor has launched a campaign to raise £500,000 by next summer to fund men’s health projects in Hertfordshire.

The Comet: Graham Hoare with his wife Sally.Graham Hoare with his wife Sally. (Image: Archant)

Graham Hoare, who lives in Knebworth, is hoping to achieve his ambitious target - in collaboration with the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity - by attracting 1,000 fundraisers who each pledge to raise £500 through fundraising activities throughout the year.

Graham had spent 20 years working in the Royal Air Force, regularly went to the gym and enjoyed running marathons.

He was a picture of health, but in December 2015 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He said: "I went to see my GP after my partner Sally was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. She had been referred to Lister to have a mole checked on her forearm, and thankfully Sally's treatment was successful. However, during this time I had started to feel very fatigued."

Following Graham's shock diagnosis, he had his prostate removed and made a full recovery.

He now raises funds for the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity.

Graham said: "Sally and I were both so grateful for the fantastic treatment we received by the many staff at Lister, which made us want to give something back.

"In August 2016 we teamed up with a group of cyclists and the Twin Towns Foundation was born. We agreed to raise funds for the hospitals' charity, with money raised split between three key areas - children, elderly and men's health."

In November 2018, after fundraising events which included a 750-mile ride over nine days to Stevenage's twin towns of Ingelheim in Germany and Autun in France, Twin Towns helped purchase state-of-the-art equipment that allows prostate biopsies outside of theatre.

Graham said: "Inspired by the success of that project, in January I became chair of a new Men's Health Fundraising Committee.

"It has been set up not only to raise funds for vital men's health projects, but also to raise awareness and enhance support networks, encouraging more openness about men's health.

"Leading a dedicated team of volunteers, we hope to raise £500,000 by summer 2020."

For more about the campaign visit enhhcharity.org.uk/mens-health-fundraising-committee