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Harry Baines' new cancer fight coincides with Macmillan Cancer Support’s loneliness campaign
A YOUNG Community Pride Award winner who took on a 1,000-mile bike ride after recovering from cancer has been diagnosed with the disease a second time.
Harry Baines, 23, from Fulford, was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma four years ago.
He went on to beat the disease before cycling through England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and for the automotive charity, BEN.
His efforts won him the Charity Fundraiser Of The Year award at the The Press’s 2012 Community Pride Awards.
After finding a small lump on his cheek in October, Harry – who now works for Macmillan – said he was told the cancer had returned last month.
Harry said: “It’s strange how it was almost exactly the same time of year when I had my diagnosis. I was told the cancer was unlikely to return but now that it has, this could well be something I have to keep facing. I shall have the same treatment of intensive radiotherapy, so I know what to expect.”
He has spoken about his diagnosis as Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed nearly a quarter of people living with cancer in York and North Yorkshire are suffering from loneliness. Patients are suffering with loneliness as a result of their cancer, which has rendered many housebound and unable to feed themselves properly, the research conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the charity has found.
About 1,500 people with cancer in York and 5,700 in North Yorkshire suffer from loneliness. They are three times more likely to drink more alcohol and five times more likely to have not left the house for days, Macmillan said.
Harry – due to marry fiancée Phoebe in the summer – said while he has a good network of friends and family to support him, he has sometimes struggled to talk to them about cancer.
He said: “It’s easier to just say ‘I’m fine’ rather than talk. My sleep was affected as I tend to go over things in my mind. That’s something that cancer has taught me – I need to be more open.”
Ciarán Devane, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said the charity need more donations and support to provide their services.
He said: “We also urgently need the NHS, policy makers and local authorities to wake up to this looming loneliness epidemic and work with us to provide these vital services to ensure no one faces cancer alone.”
For cancer support, phone Macmillan on 0808 8080000. To make a donation or find out about volunteering opportunities, visit macmillan.org.uk