JUST two years ago Eddy Clarkson spent his 21st birthday in hospital, as weak as a kitten, as he went through seven months of intensive treatment for leukaemia.

Fast forward to this week and the “health and fitness mad” fan has completed the Ironman UK challenge to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT).

His amazing achievement in Bolton, Lancashire, involved a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle route and a marathon in aid of “the charity that saved my life”.

“Being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia was a huge shock for myself and my family,” said the York-based sales negotiator for estate agent RM English.

“My intense treatment included four batches of chemotherapy, stays of over six weeks in hospital, a trip to the high dependency unit and a very drugged up 21st birthday in isolation.

"By the end I was cancer free, but mentally and physically I was broken.

“I was cared for in the Teenage Cancer Trust ward at St James’ Hospital in Leeds

“By the end of my treatment I could barely recognise myself. I had gone from being a confident young man to a germaphobe avoiding any form of social interaction.

“I had gone from weighing 95kgs to around 70kgs. Bearing in mind I am 6ft 6ins, I looked like a twig.

“At this point doing the smallest of tasks such as walking up and down stairs or getting dressed made me out of breath and light headed. I never thought I would get my fitness back.”

At one point he contracted the E.coli infection and his temperature shot up to 41.5C. He spent 10 days in the high dependency unit.

Eddy of Wilberfoss, who has always planned his life around sport, was national biathlon and three-time schools biathlon national champion as a pupil at St Peter’s School in York, vowed to spend at least seven months raising funds for TCT in a campaign he named chemo2cardio

“Someone suggested that I might want to run a marathon, but stupidly I thought that would be too easy,” he said, although he did run his first marathon in Paris in May.

“I decided to challenge myself with an ironman because it is the ultimate mental and physical challenge. I want to prove to myself and others that if you have the will and the determination you can succeed at anything.

“Now I’ve done it I feel brilliant and am so glad I did it. The support from my family and friends has been amazing and has seen me through my year of getting back to fitness and training.”

Now he weighs 90kgs and plays for York City Water Polo team helping them enter and progress through the national league.

His target for his chemo2cardio Ironman UK fundraising is £10,000 and the fund is currently at almost £8,000. Donations can be made through https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chemo2cardio. You can read his blog about his journey at https://chemo2cardio.com