GosportNewsTop Stories

Charity row completed for cancer survivor

A CANCER SURVIVOR has recently raised over £3000 for Macmillan Cancer Support after completing a twenty-four hour rowing challenge, which was held at Gosport-based HMS Sultan in a gruelling bid to raise awareness of throat cancer across the Royal Navy training establishment and beyond.

Military Provost Guard Service, Lance Corporal Simon Howell contacted his doctors in early 2021 as he had struggled with a hoarse voice for over a month, initially believing it was a seasonal cold. However medical tests identified an issue that was quickly diagnosed as Laryngeal (Throat) Cancer.

After undergoing several laser surgeries including operations to cut away the cancer, Simon was thankfully given the news that it had been fully removed. He has continued to show signs of a full recovery over recent months and needs to undertake regularly planned testing to ensure cancer doesn’t return.

But Simon is focused on encouraging others to check regularly for cancer symptoms, including unusual lumps or swelling, and visit their doctor if they are concerned; which is particularly important due to a rise in untreated cancer symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

Simon said: “I was taken aback a bit and it obviously came as somewhat of a shock as I had lost both of my parents to cancer within a short space of time, but I was not going to be beaten by this disease and agreed with the consultants ideas as how best to deal with it with maximum damage limitation.”

“I was lucky that it was caught and dealt with so quickly, it could have been a lot different. I still sound like a poor man’s version of (Sir) Rod Stewart and I doubt I’ll be king of the karaoke any time soon, but my consultant assures me that I will get my voice back to normal in time.”

Pleading with readers to get checked out by doctors if exhibiting persistent symptoms of throat cancer, he said: “Don’t be a martyr, if you have had something like a cough or a pain for more than a couple of weeks, get it checked out by a professional, it could be the best thing you do.”

Speaking about his chosen supporting charity, Simon concluded: “I never really had any dealings directly with Macmillan myself as everything happened and got sorted so quickly, but it could have been very different, and they also helped my late father with getting the right care and benefits that he needed during his 20-year battle with renal cancer. It really is a fantastic charity to support.”

At the time of writing Simon has raised over £3,300 from over 135 supporters for Macmillan Cancer Research, who offer support to those suffering from cancer and furthermore their families during difficult times. Donations will remain possible until this Sunday (July 31) via the accessible online link here.

PICTURED BY PA PEPE HOGAN (CROWN COPYRIGHT): Lance Corporal Simon Howell at row with Military Provost Guard Service Colleagues Sergeant Paul Porter and Staff Sergeant Andy Gerstel.