Cancer patient inspired by John Burkhill's fundraising effort urges Sheffield to help him reach £1m target

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A cancer patient inspired by the incredible fundraising efforts of 83-year-old John Burkhill is urging others to do their bit for charity and to help the OAP reach his £1m target.

Steven Bryan was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in April 2017 and after treatment went on to raise more than £16,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by completing both the London and Paris marathons.

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Sheffield urged to help 'man with the pram' John Burkhill reach his 'magic milli...

He is now backing the legendary John Burkhill, otherwise known as ‘the man with the pram’, who is on a mission to raise £1m for Macmillan.

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Steve Bryan is urging people to get behind John Burkhill's mission to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer SupportSteve Bryan is urging people to get behind John Burkhill's mission to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support
Steve Bryan is urging people to get behind John Burkhill's mission to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support

John, from Handsworth, has already raised more than £830,000 and with the finishing line in sight is being helped by Macmillan and The Star to reach his goal.

Macmillan, backed by The Star, has written on John’s behalf to businesses across Sheffield pleading with them to help John achieve his dream.

Fellow fundraiser Steven, recalling his cancer diagnosis, said: “It was a real shock to the system and nobody ever expects it to be them, but this is real and it happened to me.”

John Burkhill wants to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer SupportJohn Burkhill wants to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support
John Burkhill wants to raise £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support

Recounting the toll it took on him and describing how he ended up fundraising, he added: “I am a self-employed plasterer which is, naturally, a fairly physically demanding job so I was always in relatively decent shape. However, because I had to take time off from work to have treatment I was hit with a bit of a double whammy.

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“Firstly, I no longer had any income to help me pay my bills and basically survive so that’s where Macmillan really offered a lifeline with one of their grants. And secondly, I wasn’t working and therefore exercising so I had gradually put on some weight; nothing drastic but it was quite noticeable.

“Thankfully I recovered and when I was better, I thought I had to do something about the excess weight so I began running. I entered a couple of 10k races to keep me interested and I began to get a decent time.

“I got a bit of a bug for running as I went from 47 minutes to 38 minutes, and that’s when I thought I would give back to Macmillan who were there for me when I needed them.

“I was proud to enter the London Marathon in October of last year to represent Macmillan. To complete the marathon was a proud and memorable moment, but to have surpassed my fundraising target of £10,000 too was really pleasing (I raised £14,120 in the end which was amazing!).

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“Knowing that the money raised will go to help somebody else who may be having a tough time because of a cancer diagnosis is really reassuring. I was also really lucky to complete the Paris Marathon in April, finishing in a time of three hours and four minutes, raising another £2,177 for Macmillan.

“Being a Sheffield Wednesday fan, it would be hard to mention a man synonymous with the steel city, someone I see at most home matches in the rain or shine, the legendary John Burkhill.

“He is a true legend, a massive inspiration to many people across the city, he certainly unites both the blue and white and red and white sides! Not many people can say they are welcome at both Hillsborough and Bramall Lane, but John certainly is because he is so well-respected.

“I would encourage anyone, where possible, to donate to John if they can. Whether that’s dropping a few coins in his bucket or via his fundraising page, it’s all going to a real worthy cause and can help people from the area, like me, when they are having a difficult time because of cancer.”

To help John reach his £1m target visit: