Search

Cancer survivor to row 150 miles down River Thames for charity

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:00 04 September 2014

L-R: Robbie Coleman, Roger Spencer, Dan Bartlett and Chris Spencer

L-R: Robbie Coleman, Roger Spencer, Dan Bartlett and Chris Spencer

Archant

A 48-year-old cancer survivor says it is now “payback time” as he prepares to embark on a gruelling 150 mile row down the River Thames to raise awareness of the disease.

Chris Spencer, 48, of Abridge, Epping Forest, sets out on his three and a half day row on Thursday from Gloucestershire, his final miles will be from Richmond where he will be accompanied by an small armada of boats as he finishes his challenge at the Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club.

Mr Spencer, who had two life-saving bone marrow transplants, will be met by 45 colleagues from leisure operator Everyone Active - for whom he works for - at the end of his row.

His colleagues will cycle the same distance but over three days from Cirencester in Oxfordshire.

“The charity Anthony Nolan saved my life and, basically, it’s payback time,” he said who is back at work as general manager of the Everyone Active Hornchurch Sport Centre in Hornchurch Road.

He was able to have surgery just months after contracting bone marrow failure in September.

He admits he was fortunate to find a donor as quickly as he did.

“It is not all about raising funds - it is about raising awareness for more donors,” added Mr Spencer, who originally contracted cancer in 1997. “Today there is a greater understanding of the disease and a far better survival rate, provided people can find a suitable donor.”

Mr Spencer also added: “I’m hoping that my effort will be noticed.

“Even if my marathon row only encourages one donor to sign up and one life to be saved, the effort will be worth it.

“But I sincerely hope a lot more donors will step forward and many more lives will be saved.”

Mr Spencer added he was “humbled” by the efforts of friends, family and his work colleagues.

To donate, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Greatthamesrow

Latest Romford News Stories

A police officer’s career was left in jeopardy after he was handed a community order for downloading indecent images of children and extreme animal porn.

Yesterday, 16:36

The final acts and entertainment of the borough’s biggest summer event, the Havering Show, have been unveiled.

Yesterday, 15:52

After several months of detailed discussions, a potential merger between Havering College and Barking and Dagenham college has been called off.

Yesterday, 14:27

Cancer patients are happier with their care than previous years at the borough’s NHS trust, according to a survey.

Yesterday, 12:06

Police are unable to say how much progress has been made in deciding whether there is enough evidence to reopen an investigation into how a man came to be found dead in a cement mixer.

Yesterday, 10:27

A Year 4 pupil ended the school year on a high with a visit to the House of Lords after winning a writing competition.

Yesterday, 08:30

“Common sense prevailed” in the eyes of the council leader, as cabinet members rejected a motion calling for Havering to leave the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Wed, 18:00

A man has been jailed for five years for his part in a late night crime spree that began when two cars were stolen in Harold Hill in June.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now