Patrick McIntosh dropped into our offices this week to hand over the princely sum, after becoming the first triple cancer survivor to walk to the South Pole unsupported in January. Now he's on a mission to tell everyone about prostate cancer.
"The worst thing anyone can do – ever."
That was how the extraordinary Patrick McIntosh described his record 11-day trek to the South Pole, dragging his own equipment and supplies on a sled behind him in temperatures as low as minus-forty.
Arriving on the same day and time Captain Scott reached the Antarctic extremity on his ill-fated 1912 expedition, Patrick became the first triple cancer survivor to achieve the feat unsupported. In 2012, he was diagnosed with unrelated bowel, skin and prostate cancer within just 13 months of each other and was only given the all-clear by his doctors in June last year.
“Cancer was caught in me three times by luck because we're all so ignorant of the signs and symptoms,” said the 59-year-old chartered financial advisor from Surrey, whose bowel and skin cancer was only picked up after discovering low iron levels at a blood donor clinic. His PSA levels and several biopsies for prostate cancer at the time were also inconclusive. He has since had some of his lower intestines removed, skin grafts and a radical prostatectomy.
Ex-SAS officer Conrad Dickinson, who led Prince Harry to the South Pole with a group of injured ex-servicemen, was Patrick's guide on the expedition. “He said that having led people with bits missing from the outside, he thought it might be good to try with someone missing bits from their insides,” joked Patrick.
As well as raising £32,160 for Prostate Cancer UK, Patrick estimates he's reached more than a billion people through press coverage, media appearances and talks, helping to raise awareness of the symptoms and prevention of prostate diseases and other cancers. Nice one Patrick!
Read more about his trek and his future fundraising adventures on his blog.