Dads’ cancer battles inspire childhood friends from Letchworth to raise more than £1,700 for Cancer Resarch UK with ultramarathon

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs, 20, and George Lucas, 21, with their respective dads

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs, 20, and George Lucas, 21, with their respective dads Andy Nobbs and Viv Lucas. - Credit: Archant

A pair of childhood friends from Letchworth, both of whose dads have been diagnosed with cancer, have completed a 35-mile ultramarathon to help fight the disease.

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs and George Lucas en route from Alnwick to Bamburgh Cas

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs and George Lucas en route from Alnwick to Bamburgh Castle. - Credit: Archant

George Lucas, 21, and Samuel Nobbs, 20, ran for six hours along the Northumberland coast from Alnwick to Bamburgh Castle, raising more than £1,700 for Cancer Research UK in the process.

Samuel’s dad Andy suffered a cerebral haemorrhage last year because of a rare brain tumour, while George’s dad Viv – former medical director of Garden House Hospice Care – has had surgery and radiotherapy for cancer of a parotid salivary gland.

George and Samuel, who have been best friends since their days at Hillshott Infant School, now both study at Durham University.

And on their fundraising page, Samuel told how his dad Andy had fought back from his brain haemorrhage.

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs and George Lucas at Bamburgh Castle.

Letchworth ultramarathon runners Samuel Nobbs and George Lucas at Bamburgh Castle. - Credit: Archant


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“Due to the incredible professionalism of the paramedics and wider NHS, he pulled through,” said Samuel.

“The brain haemorrhage left him in an intensive care unit, where a bleed on the brain was discovered.

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“This was ultimately identified as an aggressive brain tumour. There has never been another moment in my life where I felt so helpless to look after those I love.

“We have both seen first-hand the lifesaving power of the work Cancer Research is doing, day in, day out. Our adventure is just a little way to give back so that one day no-one’s family need understand the pain of seeing a loved one suffer from cancer.”

George, meanwhile, recalled how an operation to remove a tumour from his dad Viv’s neck had uncovered cancer.

“What was thought to be benign devastatingly showed as malignant and he had in fact cancer of the parotid gland,” he said.

“What followed was the toughest few months we have ever been through as a family as my father underwent an intensive six-week course of radiotherapy.

“With the help of our family and amazing friends we were able to get through. My father was very fortunate that the tumour was isolated, and is making a good recovery.”

The duo’s effort for Cancer Research UK follows that of Andy’s youngest son Theo, 12, who last year led his friends in a 13.6-mile bike ride around the Letchworth Greenway to raise £1,200 for the charity.

Viv said: “Andy and I have found strength sharing our medical experiences over coffee many times – but the boys initiated this endeavour themselves to help fellow cancer sufferers.

“I am so proud of them for the commitment they made to this cause.”

Andy added: “Samuel and George are special people. They showed how much they care by embarking on this arduous event. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

If you’d like to contribute to their fundraising, see justgiving.com/fundraising/NCTU.

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