Cancer United: Worthing paramedic links with West Sussex cancer charity to launch exercise initiative at Worthing Hospital

A paramedic who has been given the all-clear from cancer is teaming up with a West Sussex charity to provide free exercise sessions to help other patients.

Daniel Boardman, 30, from Worthing, has already raised around £3,000 for a new exercise bike and equipment for Worthing Hospital, having cycled 110km through the final two sessions of his chemotherapy treatment.

Explaining why he did it, the father-of-two said: “I spent hour after hour in my bed, feeling weaker and weaker. I was told there was an exercise bike on the ward but was unable to get it due to someone else using it. When I did finally get the use of it I felt amazing and motivated again to get fit.”

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Since being given the all-clear in September from high grade Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Daniel has teamed up with Angmering-based charity Cancer United to help fund free exercise sessions for cancer patients and survivors.

Paramedic Daniel Boardman on the exercise bike he donated to Balcombe Ward in Worthing Hospital

Daniel said: “These will be delivered into the ward by Zoom, videos or in person and help get a wide range of mobilities up to a decent level of strength.”

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He was diagnosed with cancer in February and having seen the benefits of exercise during his treatment, he set out to raise money as there was only one bike available for all patients.

He raised the money for a new bike and another was donated by South Coast Gym in Lancing for use on Balcombe Ward at Worthing Hospital.

South Coast Gym in Lancing funded a second exercise bike for Worthing Hospital

Daniel, who works for South East Coast Ambulance Service, has since cycled 150km through October to raise more money to reach even more patients at both Worthing Hospital and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.

He said: “The cycling was hard but I managed to reach the target of 150km with a week to spare. It was a challenge but with the fundraising as motivation, it was made a bit easier.

“Over the next few months, a new initiative called CU on the Ward will be launched to enable patients going through chemotherapy to attend classes run by Cancer United.

“The aim is to get patients active and improve both physical and mental health whilst being confined to their hospital rooms.

“So far, I have been able to give just under £2,500 to the charity, which will go to sponsoring patients to attend four sessions for free, with exercise resistance bands included. Hopefully this will help those going through cancer to return to their normal lives as soon as possible, with better outcomes from their treatment.

“The Cancer United sessions are brilliant. I am finding my strength is coming back a lot quicker than expected and it is also improving my mental health, as well as talking with others who have been through similar situations.”

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David Clayton-Evans, head of charity for Love Your Hospital said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to Daniel for taking on this fundraising challenge for us in aid of Worthing Hospital.

“Not only will the funds raised make a real difference to the fitness and wellbeing of other patients, who’ll benefit greatly from having access to exercise equipment, but he’s been doing this while still receiving treatment, which is really going the extra mile.”

Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK. It can occur at any age but thankfully is nearly always treatable.