Penny from Buckland swaps wellies for walking boots to give back for husband’s life-saving prostate cancer diagnosis

Penny Newman at the finish in Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Penny Newman at the finish in Addenbrooke's Hospital. - Credit: Archant

A retired gardener from Buckland swapped her wellies for walking boots and stepped out to raise money for a cancer charity that helped her husband.

Penny Newman walked from her home all the way to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on bank holiday Monday for Cancer Research UK, to give thanks for the groundbreaking work of the experts there.

Her husband William John, a retired bricklayer, was diagnosed with prostate cancer through genetic testing, which meant that it was diagnosed early and made treatment easier.

John’s two sisters had ovarian cancer, with another sister concerned other members of the family might be affected – so all seven of them were tested.

And the tests confirmed that that John had the genetic mutation known as BRACA 2.


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From there, the 68-year-old had a PSA test which returned a result which indicated more investigation was needed.

And a biopsy showed that he already had an aggressive form of prostate cancer without knowing it.

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Since then John has undergone 71 weeks of radiotherapy five days a week – a programme which finished at the end of August.

Penny, 64, said: “John tells all his male friends to go to the doctors to get a simple blood test, as people do not even know they have the cancer. Nowadays the treatment is so much better than it used to be to cure it, thanks to Cancer Research UK.”

Penny walked from her home, near the A10, all the way to Addenbrooke’s via Royston, where she was joined by a friend, and Melbourn.

She was really pleased with her time, completing the distance in under seven hours.

“I left home at 8.40am and got to Addenbrookes at 3pm – quicker than I thought,” said Penny.

“Two of John’s grandchildren joined us for the walk from the Trumpington Park and Ride to the hospital.

“We got very wet and feel a bit achy but had a great time.”

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