Nick celebrates five years alive
Former cancer patient and ardent supporter of the GMRI, Nick White, has celebrated being alive for five more years by racing to the top of Japan’s Mt Fuji. The climb took him 4 hours and 45 minutes. The gruelling Mt Fuji Summit Race is held annually and only 50 overseas athletes are allowed to enter. “The experience was as difficult as it was satisfying. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I actually got to the top!” Nick says. Nick (39), who lost half his tongue from head and neck cancer five years ago, was given only a 50 percent chance of surviving five years. A team of cancer specialists, nursing and allied health professionals from Hutt and Wellington Hospitals, cared for Nick. Half of the tongue and the lymph glands on the side of the neck were removed and his tongue was rebuilt by Dr Swee Tan, head and neck cancer specialist and Executive Director and cancer researcher at the GMRI. “It has been a long and challenging experience and I have needed a lot of help from others along the way,” says Nick. “I entered this race to celebrate my 5th year alive and to do something meaningful for the people who helped me survive. I also wanted to raise awareness and financial support for the GMRI.” Nick aimed to raise $1 for every metre of the mountain’s height that he ran: $3,776. “However I underestimated the generosity of people! The fundraiser for the GMRI has already exceeded my hopes with $6,026 raised so far. I also intend to put together a fundraiser show and-tell night in October to raise even more money for the GMRI.” Nick’s final head and neck check-up is in October.