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Brave Unitedite battles rare form of cancer

16 March 2015

A lifelong Blade who made it to matches even during his first fight with cancer is to run a half marathon to raise funds for the hospital that treated him when a rare form of the disease struck again.

Martin White, who grew up in Sharrow and supported United from a very early age, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma at just 17 and underwent surgery followed by radiotherapy treatment at Weston Park Hospital. Despite missing a lot of school, he managed to pass his A Levels and go on to forge a career in town planning.

But 25 years later in 2013, Martin received another shocking diagnosis after discovering a small lump in his left breast and found himself back at Weston Park Hospital, receiving treatment - this time for grade 2 HE2R positive breast cancer.

Breast cancer is extremely rare in men - only 350 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK, compared with around 50,000 in women.

The 42-year-old said: "Although I had already fought cancer once in my life, and many of my family members had also bravely battled the disease, I was still understandably shocked that I had to start this daunting journey once again.

"Like many others, I didn't associate breast cancer with males and it wasn't until I saw a display in my local walk-in clinic that I realised the possibility of it affecting me.

"During my radiotherapy in 1990 I was very ill but remember still somehow managing to get out of bed for Sheffield United matches and, second time around, I didn't miss a home game despite chemotherapy and surgery. The FA cup run was fantastic, although my operation coincided with the semi-final so I was a bit gutted to miss it.

"My best Blades memory is beating Arsenal in 2007, while my current favourite player is 'the beard' John Brayford!"

In a bid to say thank you for the care he received during both cancer battles, Martin is taking on The Plusnet Yorkshire Half Marathon in April alongside his oncologist Dr Matt Winter to raise money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

Martin added: "From the Cancer Support Centre to the day case worker, the services which are on offer thanks to funding from the charity are vital for improving the patient journey.

"My training gives me focus and although I am slower than I used to be, I apply the same principle that I did with my cancer treatment - get around the next corner, then the other and, after a few more, you finally reach the finish line."

To sponsor Martin visit

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