Skin cancer leads Melbourn’s James to marathon challenge

James Lovelace will be running the London Marathon after being diagnosed with skin cancer Melanoma.

James Lovelace will be running the London Marathon after being diagnosed with skin cancer Melanoma. - Credit: Archant

After his world fell apart when he was diagnosed with skin cancer last year, a Melbourn commercial director and dad of two wants to give something back to a charity that helped him through some of his darkest moments.

When James Lovelace discovered a mole on the back of his leg around March last year, doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge delivered the shock verdict that he had life-threatening melanoma, and that diagnosis was just the start of many painful months of operations and uncertainty.

He said: “My world fell apart. It was completely surreal. At the time I became a bit of a recluse and had thoughts of ending my own life. I was a typical bloke and didn’t want to talk to anyone, so I would wait for someone to get in touch.”

In July, he was given the news he had been waiting for – he was clear of cancer.

The 41-year-old said: “I was quite relieved to say the least. I had this euphoria for about two days.”

James is aware that the cancer can reappear at any point in the future, and he still has to go back every three months for check-ups, but he has a new outlook and wants to make the most out of opportunities that life bring him.

That’s why he’s donning his running trainers for the London Marathon next month.

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He said: “I wanted to do something to raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and to raise some funds as well.

“The furthest I’ve ever run was three miles when I was 15. It sounds like a cliché, but this is my opportunity to try to give something back.”

James says he was never a ‘massive sun worshipper’, but he used be a bit blasé about applying sun cream, which is why he wants others to start being safer in the sun.

He said: “I can’t believe now that some of my friends post pictures on the internet soaking up the rays. They probably think: ‘He’s unlucky’.

“Macmillan were really supportive throughout. They were there whenever I needed them.

“I wanted to do something positive out of something pretty negative. I appreciate small things, like family time.

“I just want to be healthy. I’m trying to be less judgemental too.”

To sponsor James, click here.