Our next inspiring story features foundation member David Newman who will next weekend be taking part in the Isle of Wight Challenge with our Gym Manager, Tom Albone.

David and his fiancée Anita are doing the fourth quarter of the challenge, 25km of the coastline, on the 4th May and are hoping to complete the walk it in about six hours. This is a remarkable challenge for David, as last October he was given the distressing news that he had terminal stage four lung cancer, with the cancer also having spread to his spine and his kidney.

David quickly started his treatment, a relatively new tablet which he takes daily. Deciding that he was going to take control and “be in charge” of his cancer, he has completely changed his diet and lifestyle, removing “junk” from it and cutting out red meat, sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten and wheat. Whilst a restrictive diet, he consumes lots of fruit and vegetable juices and vitamin supplements.

David admits that when he received the news, one of his first thoughts was that he would cancel his Club Towers membership as he didn’t think he would be needing it. However, over the last six months he has visited the Club more than ever and his membership has been a big part of the way he has tackled his illness. He was advised by doctors to exercise as much as he could and even through his worst times after his diagnosis, he has made it to the Club at least two or three times a week.   He was told not to row anymore so as not to aggravate the cancer in his spine so, after consultation with the PT team here at the Club, he has been focusing on cardiovascular activity.

He has also taken up spinning! Keen to try something new, David went along to a class on a Friday morning letting Jason, our instructor, know of his illness. Jason told him to just listen to his body and see how he felt and not to come out of the saddle. The first session was a challenge for David, but he really enjoyed the music and the high energy created at a group cycling session. Each week David was able to do a little more and now is very happy to say he can get out of the saddle and really looks forward to his classes each week. At the last count he was doing six minutes out of the saddle – a fantastic achievement!

David told us he feels the worst thing you can do is take to your bed, so even on the days when he perhaps feels like it, he tries to come into the Club to socialise with staff and other members and perhaps just have a swim or relax in the spa focusing on his wellbeing.

Our Gym Manager, Tom, who has become friends with David after seeing him so regularly in the Club, was inspired by David’s positive mind set and the way in which he is tacking his cancer head on and wanted to support him by joining David and Anita on their challenge.

Wonderfully David’s treatment and hard work are paying off as the tumours have shrunk by 80%, Initially the tumour on his left lung was the size of an orange; now six months later, it is the size of a grape. David is feeling great and doing his training for the walk here at the Club.

We are completely inspired by how David has taken control of his life, made changes to his diet, lifestyle and exercise regime and is feeling great because of it, and we are very pleased that the Club has been able to play a small part in this.

We wish David, Anita and Tom the very best for their challenge and continued good health.

David and Tom are both raising money for Macmillan Cancer Care. If you would like to sponsor them, their fundraising page can be found here.

More about the Isle of Wight Challenge can be found here